Sunday 21 January 2018

Mary Peters

Mary Peters
Mary Peters

The Munich Olympics in 1972 were Mary Peters' third Games. The pentathlon athlete had finished just outside the medals in Tokyo in 1964 but, at 33, she was arguably in the prime of her career when she arrived in West Germany.

On day one, after the 100m hurdles, the shot put and the high jump, Peters led the field, but after a poor long jump performance on day two, the 200m finale would decide her fate.

With home favourite Heide Rosendahl closing in on gold, Peters had to run a personal best in the race to take the gold medal. Isn't that how gold medals should be won? That was on September 4.

Hours later, 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, and a local police officer, were killed in the Munich massacre terrorist attack.

Peters, meanwhile, arrived back in Belfast with death threats from the IRA ringing in her ear.

Peters also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals (two in pentathlon, one in shot put) and a silver (shot put).

Sunday Independent

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