A Canadian Jewish Olympian recalls witnessing the 1972 Munich Games, 50 years later

Allan Leibel, right, at the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he competed for Team Canada in sailing. (Photo courtesy of Allan Leibel)

Allan Leibel was a three-time Olympic sailor who competed for Team Canada in 1972, 1976 and 1980. The first of those was, of course, the Munich Games, which were notoriously marred by a terrorist hostage situation that resulted in the deaths of 11 Israelis.

As a Jewish athlete, Leibel—now a lawyer in Toronto—was deeply affected by the crisis. Today, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Munich massacre, Leibel joins Menschwarmers, our podcast about Jews and sports, to share his story.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.