Title: 20th Olympic Games - Munchen-1972
(View Souvenir Sheet)
Has No Title
Stamp Serial#
Date of Issue
20 won 
Judo contestants 
Chun Hee-han 
Image Area
Sheet Composition
White unwatermarked
Government Printing & Mint Agency of the Repubic of Korea 
The 20th Olympic Games opens on August 26, 1972, in Munchen the Federal Republic of Germany. During the 16-day sport festival, all of the scheduled events will take place in that German city, except for yachting which will be held at Kiel, the Baltic seaport.

More than 8,000 athletes and 3,000 sport officials from as many as 123 countries are taking part in this Olympiad which is the biggest in history. Under the motto "More Speed, More Height and More Power," the athletes will compete in a grand manifestation of their strength, beauty and athletic ability for their individual and national glory. The number of the slated events total 21 - which break down to 191 divisions. They include track and field, rowing, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian sports, fencing, soccer, gymnastics, weight lifting, team handball, hockey, judo, wrestling, swimming and diving, pentathlon, shooting, archery, yachting and volleyball. A total of 364 gold medals, 364 silver medals and 381 bronze medals will be awarded.

Representing the Republic of Korea are 46 athletes who, accompanied by 16 sport officials, are participating in eight events-track and field, boxing weight lifting, judo, wrestling, swimming, shooting and volleyball.

Hoping that this Olympics will promote sound ideals and high physical standard of youths in the interest of world peace and that our athletes will achieve good results to enhance our national prestige abroad by demonstrating their indomitable spirit and genuine sportsmanship, the Ministry of Communications is issuing these commemorative stamps.

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By Malcolm Andrews

The Munich Olympic Games will always be remembered with horror for the frightening incident of international terrorism that claimed 17 lives. The episode has become known as the "Munich Massacre". One night during the Games, eight Palestinian gunmen broke into the section of the Olympic Village where the Israeli team was housed. There were shootings at the village and later at a nearby airbase where the terrorists, with several hostages, had hoped to be flown out of West Germany.

When the smoke had finally cleared, 11 Israelis, five of the terrorists and a German policeman lay dead. Next morning more than 80,000 people attended a memorial service in the Olympic Stadium.

Israel argued, in vain, that the Games should be cancelled. A handful of countries agreed and took their athletes home, away from the scene of the horror. However, the Olympic chief, American Avery Brundage made it clear: "The Games must go on! We must keep them clean, pure and honest."

The ordeal confronting the world's sports men and women took all the gloss off an exciting Olympics. They heralded the beginning of the end of an era of great Australian swimmers. Australia won six gold medals in the pool. But in the next two decades, competing against the drug enhanced eastern Europeans, they were not to be as prominent again.

The heroine of the Australian team was blonde 15-year-old Sydney schoolgirl Shane Gould. She undertook a program at Munich that would have daunted veterans years older than she. Gould set out to win five individual gold medals. She found it all just a trifle too much, but she still managed to set the pool alight with excitement.

She won golds in the 200m and 400m freestyle and the 200m individual medley - all in world record times - but had to be content with silver in the 800m freestyle and a bronze in the 100m freestyle. Her best effort was in the 400m when she stormed home more than 3 seconds in front of the runner-up, Novella Calligaris of Italy.

Three other Australian swimmers struck gold. Gail Neall slashed almost 2 seconds off the world record when winning the 400m individual medley. Bev Whitfield set a new Olympic time in her win in the 200m breaststroke. She also won a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.

The third Aussie swimming gold medal was won by default. Brad Cooper finished second to American Rick DeMont in the 400m freestyle. There was nothing in the finish, with only 0.01 of a second separating the pair. The medals were presented and then came the shock. A drug test had shown that DeMont had taken a banned substance, ephedrine. He had been using it for years to combat breathlessness caused by chronic asthma. According to Olympic officials that was no excuse. He was disqualified and Cooper awarded the gold medal.

Graham Windeatt led the 1500m freestyle with three-quarters of the race over but could not match the finishing burst of American Mike Burton and ended up with the silver medal.

The other two golds to Australia were won on the Olympic regatta course in the Baltic port of Kiel. And they provided an Olympic first. Brisbane twins John and Tom Anderson won gold medals on the same day, at virtually the same time, but on different boats. John Anderson was on the yacht skippered by David Forbes in the Star class. Tom Anderson was on board Wyuna, sailed by John Cuneo, in the Dragon class.

Raelene Boyle won a double silver in the sprint athletics. Three cyclists were also runners-up: future world champion John Nicholson (1000m sprint); the first Australian to win an Olympic road race medal, Clyde Sefton (182km road race); and a subsequent four-times world champion, Danny Clark (1000m time trial).