Olympic and Paralympic deaths

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At the modern Olympic Games, up to and including the 2016 Summer Paralympics, 10 athletes have died while either competing in or practicing their sport. In addition, another 14 participants have died at the Olympics from other causes; 11 of these deaths resulted from the Munich massacre of 1972.

Several incidents related to the Olympics have caused the death of non-participants. Large numbers were killed during the Lima football riot of 1964 and the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City in 1968. The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Games caused two deaths.

In competition during the Olympics[edit]

In competition during the Paralympics[edit]

During Olympic practice or after Olympic competition[edit]

Other Olympic 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.[14]

Melbourne 1956[edit]

Arrigo Menicocci, Italian rower who competed in eights, was killed as a passenger in a car crash about 90 km northwest of Melbourne during the Olympics on 1 December 1956, four days after the end of the rowing competition.[15]

Munich 1972[edit]

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

The 11 Israeli Olympic Team members who were murdered 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.[16][17]

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]

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 27 July 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 over 100 people.

Athens 2004 Paralympics[edit]

Seven teenagers from Farkadona were killed in a crash whilst travelling to Athens for the Games, when their bus collided with a truck near the town of Kamena Vourla. Out of respect for their death, the cultural portion of the closing ceremonies of these Paralympics was cancelled.[18][19]

Beijing 2008[edit]

A Hong Kong Police motorcyclist was on a VIP escort to Sheung Yue River for 2008 Olympic Equestrian events and was killed en route in a traffic collision.[20]

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.[21]

Rio de Janeiro 2016[edit]

German Olympic coach Stefan Henze died on 15 August 2016 after his taxi was hit in a high-speed head-on collision in Rio.[22]


  1. ^ "FORUM OLIMPICO DE PORTUGAL" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Danish Cyclist Died of Heat Stroke, Not Drug". New York Times. 26 March 1961. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Rio Paralympics 2016: Iranian Para-cyclist dies after crash". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  4. ^ https://www.olympedia.org/athletes/21757
  5. ^ https://olympstats.com/2021/04/07/edmond-brassart/
  6. ^ 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. (in Estonian)
  7. ^ Kas Eesti poksija löök põhjustas vastase surma? Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine (Did hit from the Estonian boxer caused opponents death?) Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian)
  8. ^ Connolly, Paul (31 July 2016). "The Joy of Six: Olympic demonstration sports". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  9. ^ John E. Findling, Kimberly D. Pelle, Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Greenwood Press, 2004, ISBN 0-313-32278-3, p. 347.
  10. ^ Judd, Ron C. (2009). The Winter Olympics: An Insider's Guide to the Legends, Lore and The Games. The Mountaineers Books. pp. 29. ISBN 978-1-59485-063-9.
  11. ^ Eskenaz, Gerald (23 February 1992). "Albertville; Swiss speed skier killed during a practice run". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Nigerian Runner Is Killed When Hit by Car in Sydney." Los Angeles Times. 8 September 2000. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  13. ^ Zinser, Lynn (12 February 2010). "Luge Athlete's Death Casts Pall Over Games". New York Times. New York City. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  14. ^ "Unhappy Olympic Endings". Past & Present Gymnastics. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  15. ^ "Italian Rower Dies in Crash". The Age. 3 December 1956. Retrieved 20 August 2016 – via Google News Archive.
  16. ^ Special (27 February 1988). "'88 Winter Olympics: Notebook; Death on Slopes Is Ruled Accident". The New York Times. p. 52. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  18. ^ Jones, Sam (28 September 2004). "Seven children die in Paralympics bus crash". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  19. ^ "Games finale cut after bus deaths". BBC News. 27 September 2004. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  20. ^ "香港交警护送马术赛要员车祸殉职 众人致祭(图)-搜狐新闻". news.sohu.com. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Cyclist dies in Olympic media bus crash". BBC Online. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  22. ^ "German canoe coach dies after taxi crash at Rio Olympics". The Star. Toronto Star Newspapers .accessdate=11 September 2020.