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French swimmer stuns Olympic Games with a silent tattoo

July 31, 2012 By Norman Lebrecht

The IOC’s refusal to permit a minute’s silence for victims of the Munich terror attack 40 years ago has already provoked a protest from the Italian team, who staged a minute’s solidarity silence outside the Israeli team’s quarters.

Now a French swimmer has found another method of commemoration. Fabien Gilot, a member of the gold medal-winning 4 x 100 team raised his arm in triumph to reveal a tattoo in Hebrew reading: אני כלום בלעדיהם - in English: I am nothing without them.

He explained that it was a tribute to his grandmother’s Jewish husband, Max Goldschmidt, an Auschwitz survivor and a huge influence on his life.

It’s a poignant counterpoint to the recent furor over the Bayreuth swastika tattoo.

Allez les bleus!

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