Ken Patera Recalls Watching Munich Olympics Terrorist Massacre Play Out

Legendary professional wrestler Ken Patera recalled witnessing part of the deadly terrorist attack during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Patera was there competing as a weightlifter.

"It was like 5:30 in the morning and I was still in bed," Patera said on "Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw". "I was ready to get up though. One of my teammates came into my room and said, 'Ken! Ken! Did you hear about the Israeli team?' I said, 'No. What about them?' [He said] 'They got shot up by a bunch of terrorists.' I said, 'Well, hell. I can see them right out the window here.' I pulled the curtains back and sure enough, there had to have been five or six terrorists there with ski masks on holding guns."

Patera said that once he was informed that the day's event was canceled, he and some members of the track team decided to go downtown to – in his own words – "get f***** up".

"We got back to Olympic Village at six in the morning. I hear a knock on my door and it's Rudy Sablo, the team organizer. He says, 'Get up, Ken!' I said, 'Get out of here, Rudy!' He said, 'No, we have to get you. You have to go and weigh in.' I said, 'Weigh in? I just got back from downtown Munich!'"

Patera ultimately ended up making weight and competed in the games, but didn't end up placing. After the 1972 games, he retired from weightlifting and turned to professional wrestling, working for promotions including the WWF, NWA, AWA, and UWF.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Stories With Brisco and Bradshaw" with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.