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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid