Postcard: Munich 1972 Olympic venues; massacre site today

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MUNICH — Look directly overhead on the U-Bahn subway system, and there’s no translation necessary. The eighth stop on the U3 train is labeled Olympiazentrum, adorned by five gray interlocking rings.

Many passengers — tourists, mostly — exit the U3 at Olympiazentrum. The heart of the 1972 Olympics — including venues for track and field and swimming and the Olympic village — is about a 10-minute walk away. But directly off the escalator is just as popular of an attraction, the BMW Museum.

They are two distinct sites of German engineering, one modern and the other a relic of one of the most memorable Olympic Games. The BMW Museum is a sight to behold (and free), but walking beyond it and toward sports history was spine-tingling.

Here’s a photographic look at the 1972 Munich Olympic Village today:

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The unique architecture is the first thing that stands out on the walk from the subway.

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Runners congregate at the Olympic Park to traverse a loop around a small lake that’s maybe a couple miles. For the more daring, there’s a switchback-lined climb up to the top of this hill.

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A pass into the track and field stadium cost €3. For €71, you can zipline from one end of the roof to the top of the stands on the other side and go onto what’s left of the track.

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Every door into the press box is locked, but you can press a camera against a window to get a glimpse. It was last regularly used for Bayern Munich matches before Allianz Arena was built for the 2006 World Cup.

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As you can see, only about 100 meters of track remains. Graffiti outside the press box read: “PRE LIVES — USA” was a reference to Steve Prefontaine, the iconic American who finished fourth in the 5,000 meters and died in a car crash three years later.

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The Olympia Schwimmhalle housed Mark Spitz‘s then-record seven gold-medal performance at the 1972 Olympics. Now, it’s filled with lap swimmers.

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The Olympic athletes’ village is pretty much across the street from the Olympic Park. It’s now an apartment complex, but several reminders of its past remain. The residents are surely used to the murmur of tourists with cameras.

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Plug 31 Connollystraße into Google Maps, and this is where it leads you. This is the building where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were taken hostage on Sept. 5, 1972. It is not possible to go upstairs and to the balcony of this haunting image without resident access.

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A memorial sits near the entrance to building 31 with 11 used candles and flowers. Residents didn’t seem to enter this way, though. There’s a garage below with an entrance that sees more traffic.

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This is not near Olympic Park but at the heart of Oktoberfest — the Theresienwiese fairgrounds. What looked like the tallest roller coaster at the carnival-type event was an homage to the Olympic Games.

Olympic flame lit in Olympia, starring Alex Ovechkin

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

Oleksandr Abramenko
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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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Freestyle skiers in World Cup action on NBC Sports, Peacock

Ski Halfpipe
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Olympic gold medalists David Wise and Alex Hall headline World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding stops in the U.S. this weekend, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

Wise, who last Sunday won his fifth X Games Aspen ski halfpipe title, led the qualifiers into the final at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California.

He’s joined in the 10-man final by U.S. Olympic teammates Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving. The women’s ski halfpipe final includes the top three from last week’s X Games — Brit Zoe Atkin, Canadian Rachael Karker and American Svea Irving. Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China is out after suffering a knee injury in an X Games training crash.

The ski slopestyle finals include the reigning men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists — Hall, plus Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.

The marquee snowboarders in Mammoth finals are Olympic big air silver medalist Julia Marino (slopestyle) and X Games silver medalist Maddie Mastro (halfpipe). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim is taking the season off, and another double Olympic champion, Jamie Anderson, is pregnant.

Aerials and moguls skiers are competing in their lone U.S. World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.

The moguls fields including Olympic gold medalists Walter Wallberg of Sweden, Mikael Kingsbury of the U.S., Perrine Laffont of France and Jakara Anthony of Australia. Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf is the standout American.

The aerials include every member of the U.S. team that took gold at last year’s Olympics — Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld.

Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Saturday Moguls 11 a.m. CNBC, Peacock
Ski Halfpipe 3 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Sunday Ski Slopestyle 12 p.m. CNBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Aerials, Dual Moguls 2 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Snowboard Halfpipe 2 p.m. CNBC, Peacock

All NBC and CNBC coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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