Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 301: Olympics Shrouded in Fear of Terror Attacks

They Olympic Games are no stranger to terrorist attacks. It's bound to happen when you get so many different nations together in one venue—nations that may not otherwise get along. Some radicals find the world-wide stage to be a perfect setting for getting opinions and demands noticed.

In the 1972 Munich Games, a Palestinian group demanding the release of prisoners held in Israel took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them.  The 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta fell victim when former US Army explosives expert, Eric Rudolph, went off the deep end and placed a knapsack bomb under a bench, killing two and injuring over 100 who had gathered for a public concert.

Even the 2012 Summer Games in London dealt with rumors of possible al-Qaeda attacks. There was speculation they were planning a cyanide mixed with hand cream type of strike. Luckily, the rumor never came to fruition and the games were played without incident.

The 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia have also not been without problems. Back in December, two bombings a day apart in a city 400 miles from Sochi killed 34 people and injured dozens more. The radical Islamic group claiming responsibility for the attacks warned of more to come so naturally, many nations have been cautious as the games approach. And there have been recent rumors that Russian security officers are currently searching for potentially three female suicide bombers.

The US, who boycotted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow to try and keep the Soviets out of Afghanistan, entertained the idea of keeping athletes out of these games as well, but instead decided to send security with the team. They've also warned family members traveling in support of their athletes and many have opted to stay home instead. But still, there will be an estimated 10,000 US spectators traveling to Sochi.

The US State Department has also issued a warning to Team USA athletes about not wearing their Ralph Lauren-designed Olympic uniforms outside of Olympic venues. While there will be security within the designated areas of the game, it's unlikely that detail will follow the athletes outside of these locations. And it's not like they'll be able to blend in with those uniforms either. If you haven't seen them yet, they're anything but inconspicuous. It's sort of like going to a Sox/Yankees game in the Bronx. If you value your life as a Red Sox fan, it's best not to flaunt your Boston colors in Yankee Stadium.

So... just 11 days until the Olympic Games begin. Let's hope for a peaceful and competitive couple of weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment