NEW YORK (Sep. 26)
The American Friends of Haifa University have launched a drive here to establish a Memorial Sports Center on Mt. Carmel for the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes murdered by Arab terrorists in Munich Sept. 5, 1972. This was announced at an inaugural dinner for the project held here recently attended by 600 persons including leading figures in American sports.
The proposed center, which will cost an estimated $3.5 million, has been approved by Israel’s Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir, according to former Baseball Commissioner Bowie K. Kuhn, international chairman of the memorial committee. It will consist of a 5000-seat stadium on the Haifa U. campus; a 1000-seat Olympic swimming pool; six 500-seat outdoor tennis courts; a children’s playground and facilities for various sports and gymnastics. Kuhn stated that Sapir, recognizing the importance of this project, has committed the Israeli government to provide $1 million.
A brochure describing the memorial sports center at the Haifa U. stated that the Olympic spirit will be kept alive because the university’s student body includes Jews; Moslems and Christians. "Thus, instead of conflict between Israelis and Arabs, the sports arena will serve as a place of encounter in the Olympic spirit of togetherness." The inaugural dinner honored Mark Spitz, the seven gold medals Olympian, as the International Athlete of the Year.