Michael Phelps Among Olympians Concerned About Security In Sochi
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Security concerns in Sochi. The U.S. military announces it will move two warships into the Black Sea during the Olympic Games in case of a terror attack.
This, as many U.S. Olympians ask their families to stay home.
Meghan McCorkell has more on what’s being done to keep athletes safe.
Pentagon officials confirm the U.S. and Russia are discussing security plans at the Olympic Games.
Hockey stars Ryan Sutor and Zach Parise are heading to Sochi to compete for Team USA, but they’ve asked their families to stay home.
“It’s nerve-racking, that’s for sure. You see that stuff going on, it’s not very comforting,” Parise said.
“You hear all these stories about different things, and it’s definitely a concern,” Sutor said.
Islamic militants are threatening to strike Sochi during the games.
Just last month, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb inside a train station that provides service to Olympic venues. The next day there was another attack in the same area.
“You know, we’re there to represent our country,” said Olympic gold medalist and Maryland native Michael Phelps.
But Phelps says he knows Sochi is a different situation.
“When I was talking to my mother the other night, she was saying how nervous she was to go over because she didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said.
Security experts say Sochi is a challenging location because it’s bordered by the Black Sea on one side and mountain ranges on the other.
“It does complicate the security equation just a bit because there has to be preparation for high-speed sea vessels, as well as mountainous terrain equipment,” said Rob Weinhold, The Fallston Group.
Russian officials say they’ve built a “ring of steel” around Sochi, but concerns remain.
“I think folks are right to be concerned. The fact of the matter is that the Olympics are a target-rich environment for terrorists,” Weinhold said.
Some 100,000 Russian security personnel will be working the games.
The U.S. National Team is one of many that have received threats warning not to bring athletes to Russia.
The State Department has released a travel alert for Sochi, warning Americans traveling there to be vigilant.
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