News / Europe

Sochi Olympic Athletes Warned Not to Wear Big Country Logos

People walk past as the Olympic rings and the cauldron for the Olympic flame are reflected in a puddle of water on the Olympic Park as preparations continue for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Jan. 30, 2014.
People walk past as the Olympic rings and the cauldron for the Olympic flame are reflected in a puddle of water on the Olympic Park as preparations continue for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Jan. 30, 2014.
Reuters
Athletes heading to the Sochi Winter Olympics have been warned not to wear team kits with large logos promoting their country on their way to Russia due to security concerns, British Olympic officials said on Thursday.
 
Britain has joined the United States in cautioning athletes and officials against wearing “overtly branded” clothing en route to Sochi where the athletes' village opens on Thursday.
 
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Security at the Winter Games is expected to be tight with the potential threat of an attack on Sochi, which lies on the western edge of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, scene of an insurgency aiming to create an Islamist state.
 
A spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association (BOA) said its 56 athletes and 64 officials were advised to travel in items from their 111-piece team kit with small, discrete logos.
 
“While we have not received any information or advice suggesting an increase in the threat level, we are taking a common-sense approach in recommending that team members wear less overtly branded Team GB kit during their journey to Sochi,” the BOA spokeswoman said.
 
“This advice is similar to guidance being offered to other delegations by their respective National Olympic Committees.”
 
This undated product image provided by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic skater Evan Lysacek wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.This undated product image provided by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic skater Evan Lysacek wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
x
This undated product image provided by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic skater Evan Lysacek wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
This undated product image provided by Ralph Lauren shows U.S. Olympic skater Evan Lysacek wearing fashion by designer Ralph Lauren for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Concern about potential attacks on the Feb. 7-23 Games has heightened in the wake of twin suicide bombings last month in the city of Volgograd, about 700 km (400 miles) northeast of Sochi, which killed 34 people.
 
British officials have warned that further attacks were likely and could take place anywhere in Russia.
 
The U.S. Olympic Committee, which is sending the largest team to Sochi, with 230 athletes, issued a travel memo advising against wearing conspicuous Team USA gear outside the secure Olympic compound, such as the red, white, and blue cardigan with stars and stripes designed by Ralph Lauren.
 
“The U.S. Department of State has advised that wearing conspicuous Team USA clothing in non-accredited areas may put your personal safety at greater risk,” said the memo, widely reported in the U.S. media.
 
Officials caution athletes about safety at every Olympics but the BOA spokeswoman could not recall previous cautions about not wearing branded team kit.
 
Countries competing at Sochi are taking various measures to ensure the safety of their athletes and spectators.
 
While France's delegation has not received cautions over  kit, its 116 athletes will receive extra protection at Sochi from French national police and gendarmerie special operations units, Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron said on Thursday.
 
This comes on top of the 37,000 personnel on combat alert deployed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 
“We have done some preparatory work with our experts and everything has been done to make sure our athletes and fans are safe,” Fourneyron told daily Le Parisien. “There will be maximal vigilance.”
 
About 6,000 athletes, coaches and officials from around 90 countries will take part in events at Sochi ranging from Alpine skiing to ice hockey and snowboarding.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid