50 years on: Munich's Olympic Legacy

Munich's Olympic Legacy in Current Photos - Photo: Florian Peljak

How the 1972 Olympics still shape Munich today

On September 11, 50 years ago, the flame of the Olympic fire of the Munich Games went out, but Olympia lives on in the city to this day. The Olympic buildings have become landmarks of the Bavarian capital and it is impossible to imagine the city skyline without them. Their sustainable use was considered by the far-sighted planners from the very beginning. Alongside the Isar and the English Garden, the entire Olympic Park is the most popular inner-city recreation area for Munich residents. As an ensemble, the Olympic Park is completely protected as a historic monument. The Olympic Village, today affectionately known as the "Oly-Dorf," became apartments for students. For decades, the Olympic Stadium was home to the soccer teams of FC Bayern and TSV 1860 München; today, concerts and a variety of other events take place there. Half a century after the Games, however, the famous tent roof now needs expensive renovation. A few Olympic sites, on the other hand, have become lost places, such as the old Olympiazentrum bus station and the overgrown Olympiastadion suburban train station, which now houses a biotope. Outside the city limits, the site of the Oberschleißheim regatta course, where the rowing competitions were held in 1972, also has its best days behind it, but is being renovated. To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games, Munich will have to strike a balance between celebration and commemoration in 2022: The Games, which had such a lasting positive impact on the cityscape and image, will be remembered, but above all the victims of the attack, which remains a Munich trauma even after five decades.