News

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

Obama says he believes Sochi games are safe

SOCHI 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama waves before he speaks at McGavock High School in Nashville, Jan. 30. Photo: Reuters/Larry Dow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast on Friday that he believes the Russian city of Sochi is safe and that Americans who want to go to the Olympics should go.

Amid questions about whether Russian security is sufficient to head off the threat of militant attacks in Sochi, Obama told CNN in an interview that the Russians understand the stakes involved in playing host to the international event.

Asked what he would tell close friends who wanted to go to the Olympics, Obama said: “I’d tell them that I believe that Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings.”

But Obama said he would always feel better if the event were being held inside the United States “because then we have full control over what happens.”

U.S. officials have expressed concerns about the level of cooperation with Russian security officials. Obama said the United States has a good sense of the security plan Russia has put in place to protect the athletes and spectators.

“The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there. And we are coordinating with them. We’ve looked at their plans,” he said.

Obama said U.S. officials are not discouraging Americans from attending the Winter Games. Those who wish to go should check with the State Department and see what “prudent measures” they should take.

“What I would say is that if you want to go to the Olympics, you should go to the Olympics,” he said.

“In these large settings like this, there are always some risk involved,” he added.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Aaron Hernandez has a new, mystery tattoo

Fresh
aaronhernandez

There were two "appearances" from former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez in court yesterday.

in Sports

NFL: Another lawsuit filed against the league

Fresh
nfl

Hundreds of former players allege that team doctors provided painkillers as part of a decades-long conspiracy to keep them on the field.

in Sports

For Kimball, racing competitively is all about numbers

Fresh
charliekimball

Charlie Kimball will check his blood-glucose numbers constantly before, during and after Sunday's Indianapolis 500.

in Sports

NHL Preview: Rangers meet Lightning for game 4

Fresh
23-overlay10

Here's a look at Game 4 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

in Entertainment

Reality TV star Josh Duggar accused of molesting young girls

Fresh
joshduggar

Josh Duggar, the eldest child on "19 Kids And Counting," allegedly has a history of sexually assaulting and "forcibly fondling" young girls.