Amitzur Shapira

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Amitzur Shapira (Hebrew: עמיצור שפירא‎; July 9, 1932 - September 6, 1972) was an Israeli sprinter and long jumper in the 1950s and a coach for the Israeli track and field team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He was murdered by Palestinian fighters in the Munich massacre.


Amitzur Shapira was born in Israel and was a resident in Herzliya. For many years, he served as a teacher and educator at the Wingate Institute's Jewish College. When Shapira went to the 1972 Summer Olympics he was the head coach for the Israeli track and field team. During the 1972 Olympics he and 10 other members of the Israel Olympic team were taken hostage by Arab terrorists at the games. Two of the Israelis were shot in the beginning of the ordeal and the other nine (including Shapira) were held hostage and then later were murdered on the tarmac of Furstenfeldbruck airbase during a botched rescue attempt by Munich police and Bavarian border guards.[1]

Shapira was the coach of Esther Shachamarov who later became an Israeli Olympic athlete (in 1976, she became the first Israeli to reach an Olympic final). When she heard the news that her coach had been murdered she withdrew from the 1972 Olympics.

He was buried in Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv.[2]