Sochi Security Stepped Up, Some Athletes Concerned - NBC Bay Area
Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Sochi Security Stepped Up, Some Athletes Concerned

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    Some Athletes Have Concerns About Sochi Security

    About a week before the Olympic games begin, some athletes share their concerns about security in Sochi. Janella Wang reports *CORRECTION: Slopestyle snowboarder's Jamie Anderson is misspelled in the video portion of the report. (Published Monday, Feb. 3, 2014)

    Just days away from the Olympic games, athletes, volunteers and media have all been screened and background checked before the competition begins on Friday night. Even ticket holders need to register and be screened for a spectator pass.

    In the wake of terrorist attacks in Russia, government leaders are taking every precaution to make sure no one gets hurt during the Olympics. Even if that means that people might have to withstand several security checks. At the airport, passengers are sent through screening checks more than once, and even in the Olympic villages, guests must go through security at the main gate and then again at each venue. Metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs and body patdowns are part of the daily routine in the coastal village of Sochi.

    There are 100,000 police officers, security guards and Army troops who have flooded Sochi in what’s now been nicknamed the “ring of steel.” Hundreds of miles of fencing surround the hotels and venues.

    Some Northern California athletes say they have a bit of the jitters.

     “I’m definitely worried,” said Brita Sigourney, a halfpipe freeskier. “I feel like us athletes will be safe, but if anything, I’m worried about my family.”

    Added Maddie Bowman, another halfpipe freeskier: “I think the athletes will be pretty safe but it’s my family that I’m worried about definitely. It’s a little terrifying.”

    Others aren’t as afraid.

    Slopestyle snowboarder Jamie Anderson said he is “just trying to have a positive attitude and we’re going to be OK. It’s going to be a fun experience.”

    Gold medal contender and halfpipe freeskier, David Wise of Reno, Nev., is taking a philosophical approach to what “security” and “safety” really mean.

    “What I do for a living is more dangerous than anything I’ll ever experience in life,” he said. “And I’m not really worried, and I honestly think, it’s the Olympics, it’ll go off fine.”