Sochi confident in safety of Games amid threats

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As the final preparations continue for the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sochi later on this Friday, Russian officials say they remain confident in the safety and security of the Games.

Dmitry Kozak, Russia's Deputy prime minister, speaking at a news conference ahead of the official start of Games, was asked at least three times about potential terrorist threats.

"We can guarantee safety and security in Sochi. We can guarantee the safety of people as well as any other government hosting any mass event. The terrorist fear is always of a global nature and in any place and sport on our planet it has the same nature. All countries have a database about terrorists and, based on the information we have received, Sochi is under no more threat than any other city on the planet."

While the potential for terrorism might be a major story in the media's mind, for the athletes, potential threats undoubtedly take a back seat to the goal of achieving Olympic glory.

CRI's Olympics correspondent Ding Lulu ran into speed skaters Stefan Groothuis and Jan Smeekens leisurely touring the entertainment center.



Where are you guys from?


What do you think about Sochi So far?

Really good. Like the medal plaza, and all the stadiums, are really high quality, and i feel kind of safe as well...

You feel safe?

Well, it raised our concerns a little bit before we came here of course, but what i've seen from now, it looks they've done their maximum, their best to let everything be safe and things will go well I think."

Meanwhile, Deputy Chef de Mission of the Chinese delegation in Sochi, Xiao Tian, says he's also confident in Russia's ability to keep people safe.

"We already heard about the terrorist attacks, so we made preparation for emergencies like that, but in the end, we still believe that Russia's Sochi organizing committee has the ability to ensure the safety of the delegations participating in the Winter Olympics."

Russian forces are on high alert after a pair of suicide bombings killed at least 34 people in December in the southern city of Volgograd, which is a key transfer hub for people to get here to Sochi.

A number of threats have also been leveled at the Games themselves, most of which are believed to have come from Islamist extremists in Russia's southern Caucuses region.

Some 40-thousand security personnel are deployed in Sochi, which is a city of just 300-thousand.

Security forces have created, what has been described as a "ring of steel" around all the venues.

On top of the athletes taking part in the Games, the opening ceremonies later on this evening in Sochi will also be attended by dozens of international leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, which adds to the vigilance of the Russian security forces.


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