8¢ 11th Winter Olympics
Issue Date: August 17, 1972
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
Color: Black, blue, red, emerald and yellow
Originating in Switzerland in the 1800s, bobsled racing has been included as part of the Olympic Games since 1924. Originally, tobogganers added runners to their sleds to increase speed, and they banked the course to add excitement. This issue salutes the 11th Olympic Winter Games.
The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich, which was then in West Germany. It was the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany. The first had been in 1936, when the Nazi regime was still in power.
The U.S. team’s Mark Spitz set a world record by winning seven gold medals in a single Olympics. Spitz’s record stood until 2008, when Michael Phelps, also representing the U.S., won eight gold medals.
Olga Korbut, a tiny gymnast from the Soviet Union, captured the hearts of millions around the world as she took three gold medals.
The Games were overshadowed by an act of terrorism known as the “Munich Massacre.” On September 5, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village and took 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostage. All of the Israelis were killed, along with five of the terrorists.