US Olympians, fans express worries about Sochi security
POSTED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 10:27am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 10:28am
(NBC) — Seven days until the winter Olympics kick off right here on NBC33
While most people will be watching from home, some athletes who were supposed to go may be doing the same.
Security is a major concern in Sochi, and some people don't think it's safe there, especially for Americans.
To go, or not to go?
Each athlete, each family, faces a tough question.
The national hockey league says it is still committed to sending its players to Sochi.
But a top NHL official told the associated press: if something happens between now and February 9th, "...we will re-evaluate.”
Hockey officials are certainly not alone among participants in discussing the security concerns.
In recent days, there’s been growing anxiety among athletes and their families, over the prospect of traveling to Sochi.
The family of cross-country skier Roberto Carcelen is staying home.
“It was a really hard decision for us as a family just to -- not to come.”
His wife, Kate Carcelen, said: “I finally just asked him, ‘Look, is this going to stress you out for us being there?’ And he just immediately said yes.”
But Lisa Cervantes, the mother of speed-skater Kyle Carr, says the threats won't stop her.
“I do not, absolutely do not, have second thoughts about going. To share that joy with my son - mmm mm. I'm not going to let terrorists steal it,” said Lisa Cervantes
Congressman Peter King says if he were given free tickets tomorrow, he still wouldn't go.
“Odds are there will not be an attack, but the odds are higher than they've been for any other Olympics that there will be,” said King.
Militant groups have posted videos threatening to target the games.
The attack during the Munich Olympics in 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were killed, is a specter that haunts the Sochi games, even before the torch arrives.
President Vladimir Putin assures the world that every precaution is being taken.
Still, American athletes have been advised not wear their team-u-s-a gear outside the Olympic venue.
The United States has offered counter-terrorism expertise, equipment, and warships to help Russia through the Olympics.
And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the US "does" have a plan in place to rescue Americans from Sochi, if needed.