IOC confident about Olympic security despite Russian bombings

New IOC president Thomas Bach remains confident in Sochi’s ability to protect the athletes and visitors during the upcoming winter Olympics, despite two recent apparent suicide bombings that killed 31 people in the Russian city of Volgograd, which is about 400 miles northeast of Sochi. 

“I have personally written to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to express our condolences to the Russian people,” Bach said in a statement. “I am sure that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic games.”

The Games will begin in about six weeks.

The latest attack on Monday – a suicide bomber on a trolley bus – killed 14 people and injured 28 more in Volgograd. That came on the heels of Sunday’s attack, another supposed suicide bomber, who killed 17 at a railway station also in Volgograd.

According to a Western security official with knowledge of Russia’s Olympic security plan who spoke with USAToday, there is concern that so many resources have been allocated to protecting Sochi, that it could potentially leave other transportation ports vulnerable.  

The $50 billion budget has made the upcoming Olympics the most expensive in history.

February’s games will be the “safest games ever,” according to Sochi organizing committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko.

“There’s no difference between Vancouver or London or wherever,” Chernysheknko told USAToday last month. “During the Salt Lake Games, the security was on highest level after 9/11. I can tell you from the early stages, a constructive dialogue between the security agencies of Russia and USA was established. The authorities are in close cooperation, combining efforts to help Russia have the safest games.”  

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