Taekwondo in the list of sports marred by terrorism

Post date: Apr 19, 2013 8:47:57 PM

Following two fatal explosions at the Boston Marathon, we look back at moments in sporting history when events have been marred by terrorism. We can't forget that Taekwondo has also suffered from the insane terrorist activities.

Munich Olympics, 1972:

The 1972 attack is globally recognised as the darkest day in Olympic history. During the Games in Munich, Palestinian militant group Black September took members of the Israeli national team hostage and, after a 16-hour siege, killed 11 athletes and coaches together with one German police officer. The aftermath marked the first time in Olympic history that competition was suspended in order for a memorial service to be held in the Olympic Stadium. Atlanta Olympics, July 27 1996: During an evening music concert at the Centennial Olympic Park, a bomb was detonated, killing two people and injuring more than 100 others. The bomb was planted by a man called Eric Rudolph - a former explosives expert for the US army - who believed the Olympics "promoted the values of global socialism". Rudolph is currently serving four life sentences with no chance of parole. The Olympics went on as planned. Grand National, April 5 1997: England's most famous horse race was called off after two bombs threats were called in, reportedly from the IRA. Some 60,000 spectators - including Princess Anne - were evacuated while police inspected the course. The race was run 48 hours later in front of a reduced crowd.

Champions League, May 1 2002:

Just hours before Real Madrid's semi-final tie against rivals Barcelona was set to kick-off, a car bomb was detonated close to the Bernabeu Stadium in Spain's capital. The explosion followed the arrest of 11 members of the Batasuna (a group linked to ETA) though it was not immediately clear if the attack was directed at either club. Despite 17 people being injured in the blast, the match went ahead after UEFA were satisfied with security checks.

Pakistan v New Zealand, May 8 2002:

Fourteen people - 11 French Navy experts, two Pakistanis and the host team's physiotherapist - were killed after a suicide bomber staged an attack outside the hotel where the New Zealand cricket team were staying in Karachi, Pakistan. There was no action in the scheduled Test and the team returned home. The Australian cricket team has not played in Pakistan since 1998 due to safety concerns. In 1996 they also refused to play preliminary World Cup matches in Sri Lanka a week after a huge bomb blast in Colombo killed 80 people and injured 1,200.

Iraq's Olympic squad and committee, July 15 2006:

The year saw three deadly attacks on the country's sportsmen and women the most notable of which saw the head of Iraq's Olympic Committee Ahmed al-Hadjiya kidnapped along with 30 athletes and officials after a sports conference in Baghdad was stormed by 50 gunmen in July. On May 17 of the same year, 15 athletes and staff members of the taekwondo team were kidnapped en route to a competition in Jordan - they were never seen again. Nine days later, gunmen killed the Iraqi tennis coach together with two of his players. Dakar Rally, January 4 2008: The threat of an Al Qaeda attack meant that organisers deemed staging the race too dangerous in 2008 and it was subsequently cancelled for the first time in its 30-year history. Scheduled to have started in Lisbon, Portugal and end in Dakar, Senegal it was felt that the security of participants could not be guaranteed particularly in the Mauritania area where the rally was scheduled to spend eight days. The month prior to the race a French family on holiday in Mauritania was murdered and al-Qaida are believed to be responsible. Sinhala and Tamil New Year Marathon, April 6 2008: Fifteen athletes were killed and at least 90 others were injured when a suicide bomber attacked the start of a marathon held to celebrate the start of Sri Lanka's new year. Highways minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, army officer Lt Colonel Udayadeera, former Olympic marathon runner KA Karunaratne and the national athletics coach, Lakshman de Alwis, were among the dead. The Sri Lankan government blamed the Tamil Tigers for the attack.

Sri Lanka v Pakistan March 3, 2009:

En route to a match against Pakistan, the Sri Lankan cricket team bus was attacked by 12 masked gunmen outside a stadium in Lahore. Rockets and grenades were thrown while multiple rounds of ammunition were fired killing eight - six policemen and two civilians - and injuring nine - six players, two staff and an umpire. The attack was believed to have been carried out by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the outlawed militant groups with close links to Al-Qaeda. Sri Lanka had only agreed to play the Test after India withdrew owing to safety concerns following the Mumbai attacks the year before. The Pakistan government had guaranteed the team "presidential-style security".

The same year the second edition of the Indian Premier League was staged in South Africa because of security concerns in India.

Commonwealth Games 2010:Australia's Dani Samuels, Travis Meyer and Stephanie Sang were among a plethora of athletes from around the world who withdrew from the Commonwealth Games in Delhi owing to safety concerns. Athletes around the world were warned of the "high threat of terrorism throughout India" nation of the event following the Mumbai attack in 2008, an attack on and IPL match earlier in the year and on a cafe in Pune. It was also widely reported that security provisions for the competition were "nowhere near ready" particularly the ability organisers had to sweep for explosives. Despite the threats, the competition was completed without an attack.

adaptation from the original Emily Benammar's, article for ABC