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Austrians get kidnap threats against Schild, Flock



VIENNA (AP) -- The Austrian Olympic Committee has received an anonymous letter containing a kidnap threat against Alpine skier Marlies Schild and skeleton pilot Janine Flock during the Sochi Games.

The letter, written in German, was delivered Monday into the mailbox of its Vienna office, AOC general secretary Peter Mennel said Tuesday.

"We have immediately alerted the Federal Criminal Agency, which is investigating the case," Mennel said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck confirmed the ongoing investigation, adding that Russian authorities had been informed and that no information would be made public if or when additional security measures were established for Schild and Flock.

The AOC said in a statement that it was "not regarding it as an acute threat at the moment."

Mennel discussed the matter with Flock on Tuesday during a flight from Vienna to Sochi.

"She is not worried, she trusts in our security measures," Mennel said, adding that Austrian athletes will be accompanied by members of a police special taskforce when they leave the Olympic Village.

Schild is scheduled to travel to Russia next week as she will only compete in the women's slalom on Feb. 21.

"I can't judge the situation right now," Schild told the Austria Presse Agency. "I am not someone who easily panics but this obviously gives me an unpleasant feeling."

Schild said she learned of the kidnap threats through news reports, adding "It's a bit weird to hear it from the media."

"I hope the issue will be solved immediately," she said. "Only experts can tell how to judge this."

Schild, who won silver in slalom in Vancouver four years ago, is set to compete in her fourth Olympics. She also won silver in the combined event and bronze in slalom at the 2006 Turin Games.

In December, Schild set the record for most World Cup slalom wins by a female skier with her 35th victory.

Flock, who is set to make her first Olympic appearance, won the European skeleton title last month at a World Cup event in Koenigssee, Germany.

The kidnap comes less than two weeks after a string of European Olympic committees, including Austria's, received emails containing terrorist threats against its athletes in Sochi.

Those messages were later deemed a hoax by security experts, who said such threats were common ahead of big events. Sochi organizers described them as "not real."

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page114 February 05 2014 at 5:31 AM

Hopefully the athletes can concentrate on what they are there to do. Compete. There are always whackos trying to establish themselves. Why don't they try something to make their mark like the athletes do through practice and competition and healthy sporting activities.

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ms kathlene February 05 2014 at 5:09 AM

I DON'T THINK I WOULD GO EVEN IF SOMEONE PAID MY WAY. NOW AT THE HOTEL PEOPLE WERE TOLD NOT TO WASH THEIR FACE WITH THE WATER, WHICH MEANS DON'T SHOWER,BRUSH YOUR TEETH OR ANYTHING.SCARY

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ms kathlene February 05 2014 at 5:07 AM

I WOULD BE AFRAID TO GO

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Jeff Newman February 05 2014 at 4:18 AM

This is the worst idea I have ever come across in my life. I am about 60 years old, and I have seen about it all in my life – but this idea is just so asinine it defies my imagination that is going to gain from this. I have been to every nook and cranny on the Globe, but I never finished astronaut training – but this one beats all for just flat dumb. Just have to hope and for you that like to pray – everything works out fine and nothing happens. Now – when did you see everything work out flawlessly? In 60 years I have never seen it. Simple study of entropy of this thing tells me something bad is going to happen. It always does and it always will. I will call it “The Infomercial Winter Olympic Games” – and the athletes and all of them that are involved spent their whole lives practicing for this – and that’s ain’t fair to anybody but the sponsors and the TV Media. They want something big to happen. Sells more when something happens than if nothing happened but a group of dedicated experts playing a sport they love. One little slip and their dreams could be over and not their fault in the least. Big problem to me in this logic and thinking. Thanks.

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Nan February 05 2014 at 4:26 AM

Jeff, I completely agree with you regarding the media. I had the same gut-sinking feeling during the pre-Super Bowl build-up.

I could not stop thinking, "OMG, they WANT something to happen and, if the whackos can't come up with an idea on their own, well, why not let's help them!"

I am just an plain old, normal senior citizen (pretty liberal) but, I remain stunned with the stunts of our media. It no longer reports the news, they provide "entertainment", with or without facts.

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palitzca February 05 2014 at 1:48 AM

I HOPE EROUPE AND AMERICAN SAFE IN RUSHIA

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dlfrench05 February 05 2014 at 1:41 AM

I just hope our American players will be safe in Russia!!!!!!!! I'm worried about them.

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djdarin February 05 2014 at 12:05 AM

The US could have hosted, but we sent two ZEROS (O and O) to represent us.

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gailzeke1 February 05 2014 at 10:05 AM

I know Obama was one representative - was Oprah the other? Those two combined couldn't sell bread in a famine with their credibility at this point in time.

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Mooney February 05 2014 at 12:01 AM

Too bad they killed all those wandering, woofing security alarms.

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genegene002 February 04 2014 at 11:43 PM

Since when do you warn someone before you kidnap them? Drrrrrrrr!!!!

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Howard Hudnell February 04 2014 at 11:23 PM

they dont have any problem that obama cant fix just ask him

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