The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Security measures become arms race in Russia

By Matt Fulkerson/sports editor

The 2014 Winter Olympics will open under the real threat of violence, but each year, the added security to the games seems to take away from their original spirit.

While much has been said about Russia’s human rights record, its cavalier attitude toward environmental impacts and the threat of violence that surrounds the games, the one issue that seems to be ignored is how these games will influence the future of the Olympics.

As the games have grown throughout the years, a feeling of peaceful competition between nations has grown more militaristic in the name of security.

During the London games, stories highlighted the massive police presence, the installation of surface-to-air missiles and an influx of 13,000 troops put in place to ensure a safe experience for athletes and visitors.

In the run toward the 2014 games, which open Feb. 7, Russian officials have attempted to calm fears of violence by adding more than 37,000 troops to the region to supplement the 13,000 police and security teams already in place.

To put that number into perspective, U.S. still has roughly 38,000 troops in Afghanistan.

While the games certainly have been rocked by violence in the past, the ever-increasing buildup of security forces threatens to cast a shadow over the original idea of the Olympics.

No host nation wants to see that its years of planning and multibillion dollar investments are marred by violence.

However, the way in which each successive country seems to try to outdo the previous games’ level of security is becoming a bit disturbing.

The Russians have assured visitors that the Olympics will be the most secure venue on the planet and are confident that nothing can slip through the security measures they’ve put in place.

Make no mistake, ensuring the safety of athletes and spectators should be the top priority of any host nation. However, with each successive event, the number of security forces seems to grow exponentially.

Will the next host country feel the need to bring in 70,000 troops?

When will enough be enough?

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