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Olympic Tree of Life

Memorial dedicated to Israeli athletes killed at the XX Olympic Games

in Munich-1972




September 2022 marks 50 years since the terrorist attack and massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Since then, 13 Summer Olympic Games have already taken place.


Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said the Munich assassination "was an attack not only on our fellow Olympians but also on the values that the Olympic Movement stands for."

There is no doubt that the installation of the Memorial in a public place in the several cities of the civilized democratic world will not only decorate territory but, with its modern design, originality, humanitarian significance, and the Olympic spirit and content will attract the attention of the people.


Architectural and content concept

1. The centerpiece of the Memorial is the "Olympic Tree of Life" The sculpture consists of a trunk (pos.1) and branches (pos.2) made of interconnected dark-colored geometric figures (pos.3) of a cubic or parallelepiped shape (voxels), symbolizing the versatility and infinity of human life. The branches end with stylized replicas (pos.4) of the Olympic relay’s torches (13 Olympics, starting with the Olympics in Munich (1972) and ending with the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (2021). There are 13 torches in total.

It is assumed that on one of the surfaces of each geometric element (voxel) an image of the globe will be applied, which emphasizes the global significance of every human life, regardless of gender, race, religion, nationality…

2. One of the replica torches (pos. 5), specifically the torch of the XX Olympic Games in 1972 in Munich, it is made on an enlarged scale from stainless steel (as original). This torch ‘is mounted in the central (front) part of the composition. Red, white, or transparent "tears" (pos.6), made of illuminated crystals of special glass or plastic, flow from the place of installation of a replica of this Munich torch, emphasizing the tragedy of those terrible events.

3. On the "Olympic Tree of Life," unique places (pos.7) are provided for attaching additional 13 branches with torches of the future Olympic Games, which will be held from 2024 until 2072, when the 100th anniversary of this tragedy will be celebrated.


4. Under the “Olympic Tree of Life,” there are many black elements (pos. 8) of a dark-colored cubic or parallelepiped shape (voxels), precisely the same as the Tree itself consists of. These supposedly "fallen" elements from the tree symbolize all those who have already passed away from this life.

5. Eleven elements (pos. 9) located in a particular order under the Tree symbolize the memory of the killed Israeli athletes. They are made in the same form but have differences; in particular, the elements will be light-colored, and the Olympic rings and the names of the athletes killed in Munich will be engraved on them.

6. The names of the organizers and sponsors of the Olympic Tree of Life Memorial will be engraved on a special plaque of Honor (pos.10).


The Public Significance of the Memorial

The concept of the Memorial dedicated to 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists during the XX Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, there are pretty succinctly four main features that express their social and political significance for the entire world of Western civilization, in particular:

  •  Traditional human values 

The centerpiece of the memorial - the "Olympic Tree of Life" is a universally recognized symbol of life among many peoples of the world, and its sculptural and architectural execution in the form of geometric elements connected in branches and scattered at the base symbolizes the centuries-old history of mankind, including both light and dark periods.

  • Connection with Olympic values

Placed on the "Olympic Tree of Life" stylized and recognizable replicas of the Olympic flame torches (from 1972 to 2020), with the possibility of adding torches from subsequent years, i.e., from 2024 to 2072 and beyond.

Traditional Olympic rings and the phrase of the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, about the steadfastness of Olympic values.

  • Terror and Anti-terror

Enlarged copy (replica) of the 1972 Munich Olympic flame torch and flowing crystal tears Statement by artistic means of the global manifestation of terrorism and hatred based on racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia; the need for international solidarity and consolidation of efforts to counter this evil.

  • Memory

Annual mass community citywide events dedicated to the memory of the killed athletes, with "lighting" all the torches and 11 commemorative elements of the "Olympic Tree of Life"; on the day of their death on September 5-6.

Participation of sponsors, members of the Memorial Organizing Committee, leaders of public organizations and communities’ activists, their relatives, and descendants in the symbolic Olympic torch relay, held once every four years (in leap years) before each Summer Olympic Games, and a solemn installation on the "Olympic Tree of Life" a new torch, lit from the Olympic flame, delivered to the site where the Memorial is installed.


Thus, the proposed concept makes the Memorial not only a static architectural composition but

works as a community center and international landmark for many generations.

The architecture and content of the Memorial emphasize the tolerant, democratic nature of

American society, as well as the active rejection of manifestations of hatred motivated by

racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia.

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