Discover Germany, Issue 96, August 2022

Page 80

Photo: Unsplash

MUNICH’S OLYMPIC PARK – REMARKABLE ARCHITECTURE 50 YEARS ON This month marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Games of the XX Olympiad. More widely known as the 1972 Summer Olympics, they were held in Munich between 26 August and 11 September. Half a century on, the Olympiapark’s unique architecture remains in use and continues to impress visitors to Bavaria’s capital.

Munich’s Olympic Park has continued to be used by city residents for sport and leisure. Known locally as the Olympiapark, the landscaped site is approximately 4.5 kilometres northwest of the city centre.

TEXT: STUART FORSTER

Back in 1972, Lasse Virén, nicknamed ‘the Flying Finn’, broke the world record while winning the men’s 10,000 metres, then added a second gold in the 5,000 metres. Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut went one gold better and also bagged a silver while impressing spectators in the Olympiahalle. Representing Australia, 15-year-old Shane Gould won five medals, including three golds. Yet that remarkable feat was eclipsed by American Swimmer Mark Spitz, who won 80 |

Issue 96 |

August 2022

a total of seven gold medals while setting new world records in each of his events. Those sporting achievements stand out in an Olympic Games forever tainted by a callous act of Palestinian terrorism. Israeli athletes were taken hostage in the Olympic Village. 11 were killed. Memorials to the murdered Israelis stand within the Olympic Park. Thankfully, that is not the only legacy. In the decades since the Summer Games of 1972,

Following World War II, the rubble of destroyed buildings was transported from the devastated urban core towards the Oberwiesenfeld; an area long used by the military. The undulating features of the Olympiapark include the Olympiaberg, a 50-metre-high grassy hill that is dotted with trees. Wartime rubble forms its core. Landscape architect Günter Grimzek masterminded the shaping of the parkland. With an artificial lake at its core, the Olympiapark’s footpaths and cycle tracks remain in popular use. The highest point of the Olympiaberg