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October 23, 1972

Olympic Games, 1972: Preliminary Report

JAMA. 1972;222(4):484-485. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210040052015

Most of JAMA for Aug 28, 1972, was devoted to the 20th Olympic Games then being held in Munich. The decision to publish an "Olympic Issue" was influenced by the fact that much that's medical relates to training and performance in these, the elite of athletic competitions. As the games progressed, more social and political phenomena than medical captured the headlines. In fact, before the games even started, a sociopolitical issue pressed forward. Certain African nations announced that they would not compete and some US black athletes threatened to walk out if Rhodesian athletes were allowed to enter. (Of course, "walk out" was a figure of speech; it's a long way from Munich to Eastport, Maine, and walking on water is a feat practiced by few.) Anyhow, the issue was settled nicely; Rhodesia was banned, and Baron Pierre de Coubertin rolled in his grave.1

The games started peacefully enough.