SBD/November 6, 2013/Olympics

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  • Sochi Aiming To Have "Safest Games Ever," But Will Not Employ Big Brother Tactics

    Security personnel at the Games will be outfitted in a special civilian uniform

    Russia is "sparing no expense when it comes to security" for the '14 Sochi Games, according to Kelly Whiteside of USA TODAY. Sochi Organizing Committee President & CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko yesterday said Russia is preparing to host the "safest Games ever." He added, "We should recognize the global threat is terrorism and terrorism has no boundaries." Chernyshenko continued, "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 provide the safest Games." Whiteside notes for the "first time, all spectators will have to be accredited." Ticket holders will "need to have a 'spectator's pass' to enter the Olympic Park and attend events." Those passes "can only be secured in advance and require a passport number and photo." Chernyshenko said that there "will be no tracking devices embedded in credentials for reporters or athletes." He added that the "show of force will be more reassuring than oppressive." Chernyshenko said military personnel will provide a "friendly atmosphere" as was the case in London. He added instead of military uniforms, the military providing Olympic security will be outfitted in "a special civilian uniform." They will "wear uniforms similar to the Games organizers, but a different color." Sochi organizers are "sensitive to the criticism -- mostly resulting from Russia's anti-gay legislation -- and perceptions about Russia." Chernyshenko: "For us, Sochi will be a unique opportunity to be the showcase of a new, modern Russia" (USA TODAY, 11/6).

    SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW: Chernyshenko said that there "will be no repercussions during the Olympics for anyone who wears rainbow pins or rainbow anything in response to Russia's anti-gay legislation." He added, "Has anybody noted what kind of uniform game organizers will be wearing?" USA TODAY's Whiteside notes Chernyshenko then "pulled out his iPhone and scrolled to photos of smiling rainbow-hued organizers" and IOC President Thomas Bach "decked out in the rainbow uniform." Then Chernyshenko showed a photo "of the official Sochi gloves -- with fingers, you guessed it, colors of the rainbow" (USA TODAY, 11/6).

    READY FOR THEIR CLOSE UP: REUTERS reported the Ukrainian city of Lviv yesterday "launched a bid" to host the '22 Winter Olympics in the Carpathian Mountains, "seeking to become the first East European nation apart from Russia to stage the Games." Earlier yesterday, China's state media reported that Beijing and the northern city of Zhangjiakou will "jointly bid for the Games." Other bids could come "from Poland and Norway" (REUTERS, 11/5).

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