Amitzur Shapira

Amitzur Shapira

Amitzur Shapira ( _he. עמיצור שפירא; 1932 - September 6, 1972) was one of the best Israeli short distance runners in the 1950s. At the time of his death he was also one of the country's best track coaches.

Amitzur Shapira was born in Israel and was a resident in Herzliya. For many years, he served as a teacher and educator at the Wingate Institute's Jewish College. When Shapira went to the 1972 Olympics he was the head coach for the Israeli track and field team. During the 1972 Olympics he and 10 other members of the Israel Olympic team were taken hostage by Arab terrorists at the games . Two of the Israelis were shot in the beginning of the ordeal and the other nine (including Shapira) were held hostage and then later were murdered on the tarmac of Furstenfeldbruck airbase during a botched rescue attempt by Munich police and Bavarian border guards.

Amitzur Shapira was best known as the coach of Esther Shachamarov who later became one of the best all-time Israeli Olympic athletes (in 1976, she became the first Israeli to reach an Olympic final). When she heard the news that her coach had been murdered she withdrew from the 1972 Olympics.

Amitzur Shapira is buried in Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv.

ee also

* Munich massacre

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