OPINION: Is Sochi safe for America?

OPINION: Is Sochi safe for America?

Chase Cannon

How safe are the Olympics?

The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are scheduled to begin on February 7, but with under two weeks left before they begin, the conversation is revolving around safety. Many people are worried about the possibility of terrorist attacks during the games, enough to where the U.S and other governments are getting involved. Already at least five countries have reported terrorist threats, but have dismissed them as hoaxes.

With possibly up to 15,000 American athletes and spectators possibly in attendance, the U.S is taking a lot of precautions to ensure the safety of it’s people. Along with countless security for athletes, the U.S has stationed two warships in the Black Sea, with helicopters and personnel available at all time in case of attacks. Athletes and spectators are even being warned about wearing the colors of the flag outside of the areas not heavily protected by security. The Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said earlier this week that “If we need to extract our citizens, we will have appropriate arrangements with the Russians to do this.”

All of the precautions are caused by the ongoing attacks by terrorist groups on russian soil. Among the groups are the “Black Widows,” a group of wives of dead insurgents, or rebels, that are known to be suicide bombers. Other terrorists are known to also use bombs, such as IEDs or other homemade explosives. So much so, that the U.S has also allowed Russia access to high-tech bomb detection technology developed for use from bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In light of all the controversy, Russia has brought in as much as 37,000 extra soldiers from the capital and have formed a nicknamed “Ring of Steel” around the venues in Sochi. Despite offers from the U.S and others, Russia has declined most help with security.