Amitzur Shapira

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Amitzur Shapira
עמיצור שפירא
עמיצור שפירא ואסתר שחמורוב.jpg
Amitzur Shapira and Esther Shachamarov in Munich 1972
Born(1932-07-09)9 July 1932
Died6 September 1972(1972-09-06) (aged 40)
OccupationSprinter, long jumper and track coach

Amitzur Shapira (Hebrew: עמיצור שפירא‎; 9 July 1932 – 6 September 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 terrorists in the Munich massacre.[citation needed]


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 that her coach had been murdered she withdrew from the 1972 Olympics.

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

His grandson is the German artist and comedian Shahak Shapira.


  • Reeve, Simon: One day in September. The full story of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and the Israeli revenge operation "Wrath of God". Arcade, New York 2000. ISBN 1-55970-547-7.