Olympic Games 1972 Munich

20th Olympiad


Sports: 23

Events: 193

National Teams: 121

Participants: 7,113

Identity Card

  Identification Cards


As early as December 7, 1965 the German
federal government had given its consent
to the City of Munich for unrestricted
entry and departure of all foreign participants
at the Olympic Games and their
escorts, as well as representatives of the
press, radio and television, possibly
without passports, visas, and customs
formalities. This declaration was incorporated
in the application document and
emphasized again by the Lord Mayor of
the City of Munich in his address before
the IOC in Rome on April 25, 1966.
Simplifications of this nature had become
tradition at Olympic Games.

In 1960 and 1964 there were "Olympic 
Passes" which were essentially sufficient for 
free border crossing and stay in the host country.
This was similarly expressed by the IOC
in its "Recommendations" in 1967/68.
Article 47 of the IOC Statutes identifies
the following privileged persons:
Accredited persons in categories A to F,

Category A

Members of the IOC with one escort each
Directors of the IOC
Six permanent escorts, i.e. assistants to
members of the IOC

Category B

Presidents of the NOCs with one escort each
Secretaries general of the NOCs with one
escort each
Presidents of the international sports
organizations with one escort each
Technical delegates of the international
sports organizations with one escort each
Members of the medical commission of
the IOC with one escort each
Secretariat of the IOC

Category C

Chiefs of delegations Attaches
Delegates of the Olympic cities Mexico
City, Sapporo, Denver, and Montreal
Holders of Olympic certificates

Category D

International jury

Category E

Accredited members of the press (journalists,
photographers, radio and television
commentators, camera men, production

Category F

Competitors, Team officials


In addition there were the participants in
the Olympic youth camp (category J),
who often arrived with the competitors
and should receive equal treatment with
respect to passport control. Altogether the
OC expected approximately 20,000 to
25,000 persons.
Those were the basic pledges and regulations.
These premises were the basis for
negotiations of details with the Federal
Ministry of the Interior which first began
in mid-1970. According to the current
laws pertaining to foreigners, requirements
of a passport and visitor's permit
can be waived only by an exception to the
law. On March 23, 1972 this was announced
and became effective one day
later. It was called "special regulation to
release foreign participants in the Games
of the XXth Olympiad in Munich in 1972
from the requirement of a visitor's permit
and passport":

§ 1

Foreigners who are in possession of an
identification card issued by the Organization
Committee for the Games of the
XXth Olympiad in Munich in 1972, do
not require a visitor's permit.

§ 2

The above mentioned foreigners are
released from the requirement of a passport.
Based on experiences at previous Olympic
Games, the validity of this special ruling
was restricted to four months. It became
effective about ten weeks previous to the
Olympic Games on June 16, 1972, to
allow the participants a longer time to
become acclimatized, if this was considered
necessary. It was terminated a
month after the end of the Games on October
15, 1972 in the assumption that
numerous competitors, especially medal
winners, would participate in sports events
in the Federal Republic of Germany during
this time. Officially the OC called those
travel documents "identification cards"
(ID cards), as was the English or French
designation during previous Olympic
Issuance and Distribution
These ID cards had to be distributed by
the OC to the recipients before their
departure for Munich or Kiel. During past
Olympic Games it was found to be practical
to send blank forms. The responsible
organizations (IOC, NOCs, international
sports organizations) then completed these
with the personal data, a photo and the
signature of the recipient, and an indorsement.
A copy of the completed form
was given to the participant for his entry
into the host country. The original was
returned to the OC, checked against their
reference lists, and put into a protective
case. After his arrival in the Olympic city,
the participant traded his copy in for the
Parts of this proposed system were adopted
by the OC. It wanted to send blank ID
cards signed by the president and secretary
general of the OC by registered mail


to the processing organizations. It dispensed
with separate cases. Instead, it
sent the form along with its case. The
processing organizations needed only to
complete it by typewriter in French,
English or German. The rules were:
- Corrections or erasures were not
- Mistakes required completion of a new
ID card.
- On the right of the inside of the ID card
a photo of the holder, not older than
three months, had to be affixed.
- Underneath the signature of the ID card
holder the IOC verified the statements
therein and the photo by signature of
the president, the NOC or the international
sports organization by signature
of the president and secretary
- Unused or invalidated cards due to
corrections were to be sent back to the
With this information the identification
card was complete. The following became
unnecessary with this procedure: the
completion of the inner part of the ID
card with its special case, and the processing
of the IC cards after arrival of the
holders at the Games.
Beginning May 1, 1972 the IOC, the
NOCs and the international sports organizations
received their allotments of blank
cards, together with instructions, for
categories A to E and J. This was not
difficult, since it was possible to determine
their requirements at that point in
time fairly exactly. The number of ID cards
for category F, however, the OC was able
to determine only eight weeks before the
opening ceremonies, that is, up until
June 30, 1972, according to Article 33 of
the IOC Statutes. Only then was it able
to forward to the NOCs the blank ID cards.
Previously, however, the OC had informed
the NOCs through transmittal of the
report forms, so that they could gather the
necessary information and photos of the
competitors and team officials.
Reference lists of the issued ID cards
were compiled, containing their numbers,
and the holder's first and last name, sex,
date of birth, function, and sport. The
correctness and completeness of these
lists were to be verified by signature of
the director of the IOC or secretaries
general of the NOCs or international sports
organizations. The unused and invalidated
cards were also listed. Together with the
blank ID cards, the OC forwarded forms in
quadruplicate, separated by category.
They were to be completed in French,
English or German in writing or by typewriter.
Three copies were submitted to the
OC, the fourth was retained by the issuing

For the submission of the reference list
the OC set deadlines. For categories
A-E and J, July 25, 1972; for category F
at least two weeks before arrival of the
first team member in the Olympic Village,
and at the latest August 20, 1972. After
receipt of the lists, preparation of the
identification cards, including personal
data, for the various categories was

In contrast to previous Olympic Games,
these ID cards were intended to be just
travel documents, replacing passports
and visa and allowing admittance to the
Olympic Village or Press Center. For the
competition sites and for other areas
closed to the public the OC developed a
completely separate identification system.
This system provided for uniformly regulated
admittance to these areas for ID card
holders as well as for all others connected
with the carrying out of the Games, and
facilitated control. However, many lists
did not reach the OC by the deadlines. For
category F they were often not turned in
until the arrival of the team in the Olympic
Village. This put considerable pressure on
those responsible for processing the ID

Smallpox Vaccination Certificate
According to the regulation of November
11,1971 pertaining to compliance
with international health precautions in
air traffic, it was necessary to demand a
current smallpox vaccination certificate
from all individuals who had been in
Africa, South America or Asia two weeks
prior to their arrival by air in the Federal
Republic of Germany. Exceptions were the
Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands,
USA, Canada, the Soviet Union, Turkey,
and Cyprus.

Customs Check of Baggage
Every ID card holder received five special
tags for his baggage, which were sent together
with the blank ID cards. All baggage
identified with these tags was not
checked by customs officials during entry
and departure.

The color of the baggage tags corresponded
to the color of the category of
the respective ID card. There were two
different types of tags: for category F
(Olympic Village - Men, Olympic Village -
Women) and J (Youth or Student Camp).
This facilitated sorting of the baggage
collected at the airport and transported to
the Olympic grounds.

Visual elements determined the design of
the ID cards and baggage tags.
2/3 DIN A6.

category A:   gold;
              B:   silver;
              C:   white;
              D:   orange;
              E:   light green;
              F:   light blue;
              J:   dark blue.


 (Source Document:  Official Report 1972,  vol 1, page 316)

Other Olympic Identity Cards: