Security Advice for Attending the Sochi Olympic Games

Tens of thousands of sports fans will begin arriving in Sochi, Russia, next month to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics. Due to Sochi’s location and history of terrorism the budget has risen to $50 billion for the security and surveillance systems being developed for these Games, the most hi-tech of any sports event. Russia is preparing to host the “safest Games ever,” said Sochi organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko.

Americans have become increasingly alert to potential domestic and international terrorism threats, first with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, then the 9/11 attacks and most recently the Boston Marathon bombing. With all the security discussion, precautions, and warnings surrounding these Games what precautions should a fan attending the Sochi Olympic Games take?

Security Advice for Sports Fans Attending the Sochi Olympic Games

Most US news reports about the 2014 Winter Olympics have covered the expense of attending the Sochi Games and the concern with potential lack of snowfall, and the cost of building the infrastructure for these games. But there is also advice for fans attending the Sochi Olympics:

  1. The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel fact sheet for Americans attending the Sochi Games. They advise:

    Enroll with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This will enable the Embassy to keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements, and help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Travelers can enroll online easily. The SMART Traveler App allows you to manage your STEP enrollment via a mobile device and is available at the iTunes Store and Google Play Market.

  2. Purchase Olympic tickets only from authorized vendors. Russian authorities will follow “rigorous identity checks begin at the ticket-buying stage. Anyone wanting to attend the Olympics has to not only buy a ticket from official ticket sellers, but also obtain a “spectator pass” for access to the events.” ~ Russia Beyond the Headlines. Fans are required to wear and display their spectator pass at all times and carry and show identity papers whenever asked.
  3. Do not participate in planned boycotts or protests. Sochi government officials have made it very clear that will not permit boycotts or protests, but that everyone attending or participating in the Sochi Olympic games “that there will be no discrimination whether by race, religion, or sexual orientation”. ~ The Today Show

Stay aware of security precautions when attending any international event. If you are attending the Sochi Winter Olympic Games stay current on all the latest news on the Games via the US games broadcaster NBC, the official Olympic website and the U.S. State Department website.

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