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Obama: 'I believe Sochi is safe'

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

The First Family will not be making an appearance in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, but President Obama said Friday that he believes that Sochi is safe, and that the Russians understand what's at stake.

Asked on CNN what he would tell close friends if they had plans to attend, Obama said: "I'd tell them that I believe Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings."

Obama went on to say that Russia and the United States have communicated some in the lead up to the games, and the president seems confident with Russia's security plans moving forward.

"The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there, and we are coordinating with them.

"We've looked at their plans. I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there."

Still, Obama added, with major events such as the Olympics, there is always a risk for terror.

"I don't want to completely discount those [threats]," he said. "But as we've seen here in the United States, at the Boston Marathon, there were some risks if you have lone wolves or small cells of folks who are trying to do some damage."

Obama's comments come on the heels of a report indicating that the Sochi Olympics will likely not be well-populated by Americans due to outrageous costs. According to CNN, it costs between $7,000 and $14,000 per person to stay in the Russian city for a week.

 
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