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MECU History Thumbnail

1972: A terrorist group took hostage and killed members of the Israeli Olympic team during the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

1976: The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) began protecting U.S. Olympic athletes at the the Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada

1984: Special agents protected foreign dignitaries attending the Los Angeles Olympics.

1991: DSS special agents briefed U.S. athletes on security issues prior to their participation in Cuba-hosted Pan American Games in Havana.  Following this international competition, DSS developed a more formalized security program, emphasizing preparation.

1992: DSS created a dedicated Olympic coordinator position responsible for the security of U.S. athletes competing in the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. The regional security officer in Madrid, Spain served as the first DSS Olympic coordinator.

1996: DSS provided protection for dignitaries and Israeli athletes at the Olympics Games in Atlanta.  The bombing at the Atlanta Olympics prompted DSS to formalize the Olympic coordinator position.

2004: DSS created the Major Events Coordination Unit to coordinate U.S. security support for U.S. athletes, spectators, event sponsors, and dignitaries attending major international events.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future