IOC President Pleased With Security Despite G4S Failure
The IOC declared that the safety levels for the London Olympics have not been compromised by a major security contractor's failure to find enough staff, according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. IOC President Jacques Rogge said, "Of course security is paramount and important for everyone. I think there has been a good show of flexibility with the problem that arose." Last week, the British government said that it "would deploy an additional 3,500 troops" after it became clear security firm G4S could not provide the 10,400 guards it was contracted to do because "of problems processing applicants." Rogge believes that tight security would "not affect the atmosphere." He added, "Extra input of soldiers is something that gives us tranquility in the field of security. They will not be running around with machine guns. They will be ready to intervene. Not visible, not obtrusive and this will not spoil the fun." The guard's fiasco, coming days before the July 27 opening ceremony, has "prompted concerns over safety of both athletes and spectators," and raised fears that those trying to get into venues would face long queues for security checks. Rogge said, "We got reassurances from the government that security would be absolutely in place. We are in the process of fixing the issue that came up. We absolutely feel secure in terms of transfer of soldiers" (REUTERS, 7/16). The SID reported that the London Olympics will be the last for Rogge as IOC president. In Sept. '13, the IOC "will elect a successor" of the 70-year-old Belgian at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires. The most likely candidate is IOC VP Thomas Bach. The president of the German Olympic Sport Federation "has not officially confirmed" his candidature yet (SID, 7/16).