NEW YORK — Former U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney believes the 2014 Sochi Olympics should be safe, despite threats of terrorism in Russia.
“Well there’s no such thing as 100 percent security anywhere in the world,” Romney said. “At the Sochi fields of play there will be very adequate security.”
Romney, chief executive of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, said that the security for the 2014 games is far more intense. He said that Sochi has 40,000 security personnel, which is about 10 times the security at the Salt Lake City Olympics.
But he said that the presence of security only goes so far.
“Ultimately it’s the intelligence work that goes into protecting the venues and games, or the sporting event that has the most impact,” he said.
RECORD ATHLETES: Competitors from 88 countries are set to compete in Sochi, a record for the Winter Olympics.
The IOC released the final list of national Olympic committees that will be participating in the Sochi Games, which open Friday.
The previous record was set at the 2010 Vancouver Games, where 82 national teams took part.
Among those competing in the Winter Games for the first time is the southern African nation of Zimbabwe, represented by Alpine skier Luke Steyn.
Togo and Morocco have also qualified.
Three athletes from India will be competing as “independent participants” under the Olympic flag. Their national Olympic committee remains suspended by the IOC pending election of new officials.
A total of about 3,000 athletes will be competing in 98 medal events.
SKIING: The International ski federation announced the course-setters for the Alpine events at the Sochi Olympics.
Croatian coach Ante Kostelic will set the final run of the men’s slalom, and the slalom part of the super-combined.
Kostelic, the father of former overall champions Ivica and Janica, has made a name for setting challenging courses by placing gates in unusual spots. A year ago at a World Cup slalom in Kitzbuehel, Austria, the jury rejected a course set by Kostelic, deeming it as “unskiable.”
CAS: The Court of Arbitration for Sport has registered its first case of the Sochi Olympics.
CAS says Austrian freestyle skier Daniela Bauer has appealed to the sports court’s ad hoc division to get herself added to the country’s Olympic team.
Bauer, who skis the halfpipe, says she has met qualifying requirements and that a place in the team was available for her but not awarded.
CAS says it will hold a hearing today, and final decision is expected Tuesday.
HOTEL WOES: The IOC is urging Russian Olympic organizers to move quickly to resolve the issue of accommodations that are not ready for accredited media personnel in the mountains outside Sochi.
According to the Sochi organizing committee, only six of the nine media hotels in the mountain area are fully operational.
Some media have arrived and found they had no place to stay, and thousands of journalists are expected to arrive today.
The matter was being examined Sunday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee executive board.
IOC President Thomas Bach says “there are still some issues to be solved as always just before the games.”
He says “we are in contact with the organizing committee and we hope that the situation will be solved in the next couple of days.”