WHY IS IT THAT stupidity on the part of a few people has to cost everyone else millions of dollars?
The Olympic Games are not immune to terrorism. Recall, for example, the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich when Palestinian gunmen killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, or the bomber who killed one person and injured several others at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
This year, though, it’s not just the derailed airplane bomber or party crashers that are putting people on high alert. In the past year, the Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed in Pakistan and the soccer team from Togo was subject to a machine gun attack in Angola on its way to the African Cup.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, divided feelings about the wars in the Middle East and extremism that has brought about racial and religious profiling could result in some seriously intense moments at one of the most well-known events meant to bring together people from around the world.
When Vancouver’s bid for the Olympics was approved seven years ago, the International Olympic Committee marked $175 million for security purposes. Today, that budget is more than $900 million.
So what can those headed to Vancouver this month expect? More than 15,000 police, private security, and military personnel will be focused on security at the Olympics. There will be a surveillance blimp hovering over the city and more than 900 surveillance cameras will monitor venues and crowded public areas. Thirty miles of air space around the city will be restricted as well.
It’s not just the Olympics that are imposing stricter security measures. No one carrying a big bag will be allowed to attend the Super Bowl this weekend, and all fans will be subject to metal detector and pat-down screenings. Anyone planning on attending the World Cup can also expect extensive screening and search measures.