Israeli championship fencer Dan Alon will speak about his experiences at the 1972 Munich Olympics for the first time in Rockford. Alon is a highly sought after speaker and brings rave reviews from dozens of communities worldwide. The public is invited to hear Alon at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 30.
Alon’s fencing career began at age 12, continued through his teen years and reached its peak at age 27 when he joined the Israeli fencing team at the Olympic Games.
“The Olympics are a symbol of freedom and peace between nations,” Alon said. He recalls marching into the Olympic stadium in Munich under the Israeli flag. “I was in heaven. It was the most beautiful day of my life.”
Alon’s world was shattered five days later on Sept. 5 of that year. Black September terrorists invaded the building where he and his 15 fellow athletes and coaches were living. Eleven were murdered in cold blood; only five managed to escape.
In honest, often emotional terms, Alon shares with audiences his journey: the security concerns prior to the Games, the harrowing attack, and the process of returning to normal life. Alon remains active in the as yet unsuccessful struggle to honor the memories of his slain teammates at the Olympics every four years.
Alon began a career in business and became a manager-director at a plastics company. He met his wife, Adele — a native of Capetown, South Africa — while she was hitchhiking in Israel. Now 68, he lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. The couple has three children: Meir, 32; Pazit, 25; and Arik, 30. Alon’s son Arik is, like his father and grandfather, also a champion fencer.
Admission is free to the public and advance registration is requested at ChabadRockford.com/events.
The event is sponsored by the educational outreach of the Chabad Community Center and made possible by generous local sponsors. A portion of the proceeds will benefit veterans of the U.S. armed forces, in appreciation of their role in combating terrorism worldwide. Donations may be made at the door and online.
This event is expected to draw participants from communities and individuals as far as 60 miles away.
From the March 19-25, 2014, issue