The Sochi Games are Open!

Putin declares that the Sochi Winter Olympics are open! And with that the ceremony has begun in Russia on February 7, 2014. It was not the smoothest start, but I am not referring to the athletic competition. Many terror threats have been reported. United States authorities are working with Russia and other countries to try to investigate the possible threats related to the Sochi Olympics. A United States official stated that the threats varied in credibility. The most talked about threat was the toothpaste tube terror concern.

“The biggest source of those threats is the group Imarat Kavkaz in Russia, which has publicly said it will try to disrupt the Games, the official said on Thursday.” United States Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said that the threat of explosives being concealed in toothpaste originated “from the leader of the Chechen rebel extremists.”

The United States has already been warned not to wear their uniforms, or clothes representing the United States when they go outside of the Olympic Village. Every threat should be taken seriously, and these particular threats have been.

French officials took the threats to heart when they decided to arrest two Chechen women this week. Women have not traditionally heavily participated in terrorism, but the “black widow” threat from December had the French intelligence examine the connection of the women to terrorism. The women were identified as the widow and the sister of Chechen Jihadist Khamzat Chemilev, also known as the “emir of Grozny” who was killed by Russians in 2010. “There was concern the women in France would travel to Russia – and more specifically the Sochi area – to launch suicide attacks during the Olympics”. Therefore, many preventative measures have been taken, even though the two women were discharged soon after their initial detention for lack of evidence. Do you agree that there should be added security during the Sochi Olympics? If God forbid there ever were an attack in the Olympic Village, with the legion of countries present, would global measures be taken against the terrorists?




  1. I definitely think that extra security measures should be taken in Sochi for the Olympics. The Olympics are supposed to be an exciting time for the world. Despite internal problems within each country, the citizens of the country rally together and root for the same result, gold medals. People all over the world are glued to the television to cheer on the athletes that they love. The last thing the world wants to see is their enjoyment getting disrupted, especially by bombings and suicide attacks. It would not only be detrimental to Sochi, but it would be detrimental to people all over the world. There are so many athletes, government officials, tourists, and Russians citizens in the Olympic Village that a bombing would be catastrophic. This is why extra measures should definitely be taken to protect the Winter Games, and most of all, the people there in attendance. Not doing so will deter people from traveling and attending Olympic events in the future, especially if a bombing or attack occurred as a result of the lack of security.

  2. I agree that security is important; however, I also agree that Russia should be abhorred for its stance on gay rights. I understand that the Olympics are an event for the celebration of many countries from around the world to participate and showcase their talents for the world. I also understand the Olympics to stand for the principles of equality; that everyone should – no matter whether it be the context of the sports or some other area – be able feel comfortable with themselves no matter what their sexual orientation is. Hopefully, with Russia on the World Stage as host of the Olympics, attention can be drawn to how wrong the country is. There is always truth behind the lies, and Russia is engulfed in an embarrassing one; that gays are unequal.

  3. I believe that it goes unsaid that if there was an attack at the Olympics Village that the international community would be enraged. This question in itself is just a sad expression of the state of present day society. The Olympics games at a point in time were about just that, the games. It was the time that participants finally got the recognition they deserved for the years of honing their athletic abilities. It was a time in which countries who may not be international “power players” were finally put on the same playing field as the traditional “super powers”. It was that rare instance that they had just as much of a chance to display their athletic prowess, show their national pride, and just win. It just is extremely disheartening that news outlets have reported on terror threats and the subpar living conditions of Sochi instead of profiling these individuals who have trained for years for this precise moment.

  4. I agree with you Bianca, it is very disheartening to hear the threats and criticisms of Russia when this time should be engulfed by celebration and praise. Russia has many problems of its own that should be addressed by its government, but the country’s issues should not disrupt the happiness and camaraderie the Olympic games typically bring. I also find it so sad and remarkable that news of even more terror threats have developed since this article was written this weekend. The fact that a plane had to be grounded after a passenger attempted to hijack the plane wanting to raise turmoil in Sochi is ridiculous. I do not remember the Olympic games ever being so dangerous. I hope that there will be heightened security, and that the athletes will feel comfortable enough to enjoy this great honor. Hopefully, no more threats and negativity will surface, so that members of every country may cheer for their favorites and rejoice in the unity of all the nations playing with one another in hopes of winning the gold.

  5. I was very nervous about the Olympics taking part in this part of the world. With the recent violence taking place in Russia on the part of extremists and the general pessimism towards Russia’s handling of human rights, it just seemed risky. So far we haven’t had any reports of violence within the Olympic park, which is a great feat. Security is extra tight and I have heard from people within the facilities that said they feel very safe. Russia is on an international stage at the moment. Putin knows that while hosting the games, his country must take every precaution to keep everyone safe. I am not sure what type of measures would be taken against the perpetrators should there be any violence, but I am sure it would be handled swiftly. Apparently the viewership of this Olympics is down compared to both winter games in 2010 and 2006.

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