Ethiopia's decision on Tuesday (15 August) to withdraw from the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich in protest against Rhodesia's apparent participation poses the threat of a massive walk-out by more black African contestants.
GV PAN ACROSS Olympic Village
SV Woman relaxing on patio
SV Athlete from Uganda (Asian) with female and other Asian athlete past camera
SV Uganda athlete goes to postbox
SV Kenyan athlete (woman) past camera
SV Athletes from Ivory Coast past
SV Two Kenyan athletes through arcade
SV Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian athlete, training (3 shots)
Initials OS/1639 OS/1649
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ethiopia's decision on Tuesday (15 August) to withdraw from the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich in protest against Rhodesia's apparent participation poses the threat of a massive walk-out by more black African contestants.
The 55 Ethiopian athletes who must now pack up and leave the Olympic Village include Mamo Wolde, marathon gold medal winner in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. The official announcement from Ethiopia's Ministry of Information said that the team was being withdrawn 'because a team from the racist and illegal regime from Rhodesia is allowed to participate in the 20th Olympic Games.'
Other Black African countries which have already announced they will not take part in the games with the Rhodesians include Tanzania, Seirra Leone, Sudan and Liberia.
Meanwhile athletes from Uganda, Kenya, The Ivory Coast and other African nations continue to practise in Munich for the games -- which start on 26 August -- facing the strong possibility that they, too, will be withdrawn if the protest against Rhodesian gains momentum.
Mr. Avery Brundage, international Olympics Committee President, has said he considers the Ethiopian withdrawal and other threatened Black African pull-outs as political moves, and emphasised that The Olympic Games should not be concerned with international politics.