The motivating question is, in case of a terrorist attack, similar to the one on the Bataclan in Paris, would the games continue or would the rest of the games be cancelled?

What have been typical reactions to past attacks on high-profile sporting events?

  • 2
    Such hypothetical questions are not a good fit for this site. Not just because you failed to properly state the severity of the hypothetical "terrorist attack" you are asking about.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 20:50
  • This is an answerable question. We should, and I have, answered it. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 20:52
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    @ThePompitousofLove - Your answer provides good historical precedent for what would happen, but it's still just your opinion. In the current political atmosphere, where coordinated groups launch attacks that kill dozens or more and governments respond with weeks- or months-long lockdowns and increasing calls for a surveillance state, you might be totally wrong. There's no way to know, short of it actually happening.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 23:10
  • @bobson While past performance is no guarantee of future action, projection and predictions are a common aspect of political expertise. Historical cases form the basis of this kind of projection. If you were to poll a hundred experts I'd lay even money they'd 90% agree with me. This is not just an "opinion" it is an analyzed, but a fact supported analysis of probable behavior. If you think this analysis is wrong, please offer your own fact supported analysis as an answer. Perhaps it would get more votes, and we'd know who had the better answer, at least according to SE. Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 0:12
  • @ThePompitousofLove - Based on historical examples and expert opinions, Donald Trump had almost no chance of winning the Republican primary. He proved the experts wrong, for better or worse, and now the refrain is "2016 is a strange election". Your answer is probably right. All that precedent would push to keep the games going. But if (for example), twenty bombs were set off, four hundred people died, and the area was badly damaged, it may be wrong. That's why it's still just an opinion.
    – Bobson
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


Based upon past experience, the games would continue.

There was a terrorist attack in 1972 on the Israeli delegation to the Munich games. That attack held hostages and unfolded of a long period of time, and the games continued, albeit delayed while the drama unfolded. In 1996, in Atlanta there was a bombing, but it didn't stop the games.

The only way that it might stop the games would be if the attack were sever enough to prevent the tournament from actually occurring, in a meaningful way. For example, if one or more team were to be functionally eliminate (captured or killed) it might have to cancel the games. Similar events have occurred, such as the Andean Flight Disaster, which killed or stranded all the members of a rugby team. On the other hand, when all of the players of Marshall University were killed in an aircraft accident after the final game of the season the University still fielded a team the next year, although obviously, a year's gap allows for a lot of recovery.

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