Polish government and sports officials have paid a last tribute to the members of the American Amateur boxing team killed in an aircrash near Warsaw.
GV EXTERIOR: Troops and officials standing round coffins of U.S. boxers at Warsaw, Airport listening to National Anthem. (2 shots)
CU PAN: Polish boxers. (2 shots)
GV: Officials holding flags at service
GV: Band playing U.S. National Anthem
SV PAN: United States marines salute over coffins (2 shots)
SV: Address by American Ambassador to Warsaw, mr. Mr. William E. Schauefele
SV: marines taking flags off coffins with aircraft in background.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: SCHAUEFELE: "As President Carter said when he learnt that members of our boxing individuals reflected the very best our country had to offer. With their spirit, determination and skill. Athletes, such as these, have done honour to our country in international competitions around the world. They have provided us untold excitement, and they did it for the joy of sport. We will miss them greatly."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Polish government and sports officials have paid a last tribute to the members of the American Amateur boxing team killed in an aircrash near Warsaw. The ceremony at the airport on Sunday (30 March) was also attended by the U.S. ambassador to Poland, Mr. William E. Schauefele.
SYNOPSIS: Eighty seven people died in the aircrash on March 14, and Poland had already held two days of mourning for the victims. But this ceremony was a memorial to the members and staff of the boxing team who were killed when the plane went down. An honour guard from the Polish Boxing Union stood at attention around the coffins while top level government and sports officials paid their last tributes to the dead athletes.
The boxers had been on their way to an international competition in Warsaw. At least four of the team members were top olympic contenders. The fourteen boxers were aged between 17 and 24. They were accompanied by six team staff -- doctors, coaches and referees. They had planned to stay in Poland for three days.
American Ambassador William Schauefele reiterated President Carter's horror at the tragedy....
The tragedy was reminiscent of the 1961 Brussels disaster, when 17 members of the U.S. Ice skating team died in another aircrash.