Olympic deaths

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As of February 2010, six, possibly seven, athletes have died at the modern Olympic Games while either competing or practicing in their sport. In addition, another 12 participants have died at the Olympic games from events which were not connected with sports.

In competition[edit]

Summer Games[edit]

Winter Games[edit]

Other deaths[edit]

London 1948[edit]

In 1948, during the London Olympics, Eliška Misáková, one of nine members of the Czechoslovak women's team in gymnastics, became ill on arrival in the host city. Diagnosed with polio, she died on the last day of the Olympics, the same day her remaining teammates won the competition.[9]

Melbourne 1956[edit]

Italian rower Arrigo Menicocci was killed in a car crash in Melbourne on the middle Saturday of the Games. He had competed in the eights 5 days earlier. [1]

Munich 1972[edit]

Main article: Munich massacre

In 1972, during the Munich Olympics, 11 members of the Israeli team were killed during a terrorist attack by Palestinian extremists called Black September.

The 11 Israeli Olympic Team members who died in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich are:

Calgary 1988[edit]

Between the morning and afternoon runs of the men's giant slalom, Jörg Oberhammer, 47, the Austrian team doctor, was skiing on a recreational slope when he collided with another skier (a CTV technician) and was knocked under a snow-grooming machine, which crushed him instantly.[10][11]

Deaths of non-participants at Olympic-related events[edit]

Lima 1964[edit]

In a qualifying match for the Olympic football tournament, home fans began rioting after a late Peru goal was disallowed. Police fired tear gas into the crowd, exacerbating the situation, which ended with 318 deaths.

Mexico 1968[edit]

Main article: Tlatelolco massacre

The Mexico 68 protests were part of a worldwide series of leftwing student-led protests. While the protesting National Strike Council claimed not to link its demands to the Olympics, some students protested at the perceived extravagance of hosting the games, and some sought to exploit the increased foreign media presence in the city for publicity. The authoritarian government had a secret "Olympia Battalion" to ensure security during the Games. Ten days before the games, the unit swept through a mass meeting in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas making arrests. Estimates of the number killed in the operation range from thirty to several hundred.

1996 Olympic Park Bombing[edit]

On July 27, 1996 (the eighth day of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games), a bomb exploded at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing two and wounding another 111 people.

London 2012[edit]

On 1 August 2012, a special bus carrying media from the London Olympic Park was involved in a collision in which a cyclist was killed.[12]

On the 3 August 2012, a man died of a heart problem after collapsing in the toilets of the Velodrome in the Olympic park.[13]


  1. ^ "FORUM OLIMPICO DE PORTUGAL" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Kuningas, Tiit; Tiit Lääne (2005). Olümpiamängude ajalugu II, suvemängud 1920-1944 (en: History of the Olympic Games II, Summer Games 1920-1944) (in Estonian). Tallinn: Maalehe Raamat. ISBN 9985-64-255-4.  (Estonian)
  3. ^ Kas Eesti poksija löök põhjustas vastase surma? (Did hit from the Estonian boxer caused opponents death?) Eesti Päevaleht (Estonian)
  4. ^ "Danish Cyclist Died of Heat Stroke, Not Drug". New York Times. 26 March 1961. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  5. ^ John E. Findling, Kimberly D. Pelle, Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Greenwood Press, 2004, ISBN 0-313-32278-3, p. 347.
  6. ^ Judd, Ron C. (2009). The Winter Olympics: An Insider's Guide to the Legends, Lore and The Games. The Mountaineers Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-59485-063-9. 
  7. ^ Eskenaz, Gerald (23 February 1992). "Albertville; Swiss speed skier killed during a practice run". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Zinser, Lynn (2010-02-12). "Huge Athlete Killed in Training Crash at Olympics". New York Times (New York City). Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Unhappy Olympic Endings". Past & Present Gymnastics. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Special (27 February 1988). "'88 Winter Olympics: Notebook; Death on Slopes Is Ruled Accident". The New York Times. p. 52. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Cyclist dies in Olympic media bus crash". BBC Online. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Olympic fan Conrad Readman dies after collapsing at velodrome". BBC Online. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014.