nb_cid nb_clickOther -tt-nb this.style.behavior='url(#default#homepage)';this.setHomePage('http://www.aol.com/?mtmhp=acm50ieupgradebanner_112313 network-banner-empty upgradeBanner
14
AOL.com
AOL.com
AOL Mail
AOL Mail
Video
Video
AOL Favorites
Favorites
AOL.com

Bach expects 'safe and secure' Olympics in Sochi



LONDON (AP) - IOC President Thomas Bach expressed full confidence Monday that Russian authorities will deliver a "safe and secure" Olympics in Sochi despite the two deadly suicide bombings in southern Russia that heightened concerns about the terrorist threat to the Winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee said Bach wrote to Russian President Vladimir Putin to offer his condolences following the attacks on Sunday and Monday that killed more than 30 people in Volgograd.

A suicide bomber killed 14 people aboard an electric bus during Monday's morning rush hour, a day after a bomb blast killed at least 17 people at the city's main railway station.

"This is a despicable attack on innocent people and the entire Olympic Movement joins me in utterly condemning this cowardly act," Bach said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims."

Volgograd is located about 650 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of Sochi, which will host the Olympics from Feb. 7-23. Russia's first Winter Games are a matter of personal pride and prestige for Putin.

Russian authorities believe the two attacks were carried out by the same group. No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, which came several months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Olympics.

Bach said his letter to Putin expressed "our confidence in the Russian authorities to deliver safe and secure games in Sochi."

"I am certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games," he said.

"Sadly terrorism is a global disease but it must never be allowed to triumph," Bach added. "The Olympic Games are about bringing people from all backgrounds and beliefs together to overcome our differences in peaceful way."

Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov said there was no need to take any extra steps to secure Sochi in the wake of the Volgograd bombings because "everything necessary already has been done."

Still, the Volgograd bombings have brought home the security threat to Olympic athletes and administrators preparing to travel to Sochi.

Rene Fasel, president of the international ice hockey federation and head of the umbrella group of winter Olympic sports bodies, said security in Sochi will be similar to Salt Lake City when it hosted the 2002 Winter Games just months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the U.S.

"It will be very difficult for everybody. People will complain about security," Fasel said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm sure the Russians will do everything possible, but that means we will have an unbelievable (tight) security control."

Fasel said the Olympics should not bow to the terror threats.

"We have to be strong," he said. "We decided to go to Sochi and the only answer to these bombings and terrorist incidents is to go there."

Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen said Sunday she was frightened by the first attack in Volgograd.

"It's still difficult to say whether it has anything to do with the Sochi Olympics," she told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. "This came suddenly and I need to find out more about it. But one is slightly prepared for this kind of thing to happen and of course I'm a bit scared. I'm counting on that they will take good care of us and that we have good security during the games in Sochi."

Gerhard Heiberg, a Norwegian IOC member who organized the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, said he was not surprised that bombings have occurred ahead of the Sochi Games but voiced confidence in the Russian security plans.

"I feel that everything that is humanly possible is being done," he told the AP. "When we come to Sochi, it will be impossible for the terrorists to do anything. The village will be sealed off from the outside world."

The British Olympic Association said it was monitoring the situation in Volgograd and was in regular contact with the Foreign Office, police, the IOC, other governing bodies and athletes.

"Our preparations for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games continue and we are confident the Russian officials will regularly assess the security measures that are in place to make certain the environment is as safe as possible," the BOA said.

More From You

8 Comments
*0 / 3000 Character Maximum
Filter by:
siscosdad December 31 2013 at 4:57 AM

Let's be serious: The Islamists will try to bomb the Olympics.

Reply Flag as Abusive rate up rate down
Lenny December 31 2013 at 4:48 AM

Only a fool would go there.

Reply Flag as Abusive +2 rate up rate down
1 reply to Lenny's comment
siscosdad December 31 2013 at 4:58 AM

Yep.

Reply Flag as Abusive rate up rate down
I love Snickers December 30 2013 at 3:14 PM

What morons chose Russia in the first place for the Olympics???????? It hasn't been a secure place for years, bombings by Russians to kill other Russians is nothing new, one part of Russia at war with other parts, and at war with nearby countries. Sputum's policies threatening to arrest & jail international & Olympic athletes & Olympic guests for being LGBT. He hasn't said a word of denial that it could happen. All these OTHER Olympic leaders saying they have faith that the Russians will keep the Olympics safe- - - but no promises of safety from the Russians themselves. "No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, which came several months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened new attacks against civilian targets in Russia, including the Olympics." Bach says, "The Olympic Games are about bringing people from all backgrounds and beliefs together to overcome our differences in peaceful way." Bach & others have their heads in the sand if they believe these Olympics will be peaceful. Putin/Sputum probably won't show his face during the Olympics to protect his neck.

Reply Flag as Abusive +1 rate up rate down
1 reply to I love Snickers's comment
siscosdad December 31 2013 at 5:00 AM

Yep.

Reply Flag as Abusive -1 rate up rate down
riogata December 30 2013 at 2:55 PM

DELETE LAST SENTENCE: FORGET A WORD: LET US...."NOT'... FORGET...
IT IS OUT OF CONTEXT AND FORGOT TO DELETE THE SENTENCE....SORRY....ROGER

Reply Flag as Abusive -1 rate up rate down
riogata December 30 2013 at 2:47 PM

TO MAKE PEACE ON EARTH,
TREAD NOT WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD.
WALK AWAY AND LET THE PEOPLE OF THAT REGION FIND A SOLUTION FOR PEACE.

LET THEIR INBORN ENERGY OF THE PROTON (GOD'S PARTICLE=HIGG'S BOSON=2012 A FOOT PRINT OF THAT ENERGY CAPTURED AT CERN).

LET THAT SPIRITUAL ENERGY IN ALL HOMO SAPIENS, FAMILYS, TRIBES, TOWNS, CITIES, COUNTRIES AND BUSINESS ENTERPRISES (US SUPREME COURT) OF THE ENTIRE WORLD CONTINUE TO EVOLVE TOWARD PEACE ON EARTH.

LET US RESPECT ALL RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD, LEAVE THEM ALONE AND LET THEM WORK TOWARD A PEACEFUL SOLUTION AMONG THEMSELVES. IT WAS REFRESHING TO LEARN ABOUT THE HEBREW BIBLE, FIRST EDITIONS IN 2012, MORE TO COME.

SOCHI WILL BE JUST ANOTHER EVENT OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EVENTS OF THE PAST.
IT IS BEST TO KEEP SUCH PAST EXPERIENCES IN OUR MEMORIES AND LEARN FROM THEM IN MAKING OUR DECISIONS IN 2014. WE WILL SURVIVE SOCHI NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS......I HOPE THE RUSSIANS WILL MAKE PEACE WITH THE UNHAPPY INHABITANTS THAT LIVE ON THEIR PART OF THE WORLD. WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF EVE, MITOCHONDRIAL DNA. SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

I THOUGHT THIS ARTICLE NEEDED AT LEAST ONE COMMENT.



LET US CONFUSE THAT SPIRITUAL ENERGY IN ALL THINGS LIVING AND SEEMINGLY DEAD

Reply Flag as Abusive -3 rate up rate down
1 reply to riogata's comment
siscosdad December 31 2013 at 5:00 AM

Woof! What a load!

Reply Flag as Abusive rate up rate down
~~ 2592000

Voting...

More From Our Partners