IOC Deny Increase in Threat Level to Sochi 2014; Indian Flag-raising

(ATR) As reporters endure more stringent security sweeps on buses to the mountains, the IOC and Sochi 2014 deny suggestions of an increased threat to the Games.

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SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 05:  An Olympic transport bus arrives at the Main Press Centre ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Park on February 5, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 05: An Olympic transport bus arrives at the Main Press Centre ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Park on February 5, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(ATR) As reporters endure more stringent security sweeps on buses to the mountains, the IOC and Sochi 2014 deny suggestions of an increased threat tothe Games.

Around the Rings was subject to a different security control on Wednesday on the TM10 bus to Rosa Khutor ahead of the women’s downhill. Both on theoutward and return journeys, the bus was screened and a security official boarded the vehicle at a check point to scan the credentials of reporters andcamera crews.

A reporter from British broadcaster Sky raised the issue at Thursday’s joint IOC/Sochi daily briefing, saying that he had and his colleagues had alsoencountered such full security sweeps over the past two days. The system was not in place before then.

The IOC and Sochi Games organisers could not explain why the security regime had been tightened.IOC communications director Mark Adams said he was not aware of any increased security threat, adding that he would seek clarification from Sochi2014.

"I know of no raised alert," he said.

Sochi’s transport spokesman Vitaliy Dyrdasov insisted that the transport system – "a bubble to bubble route from clean zone to clean zone" – had not introduced any additional security checks.

He said only that route changes were for operational reasons and the frequency of buses had increased "two-fold" to provide more comfortable and convenient transport for media.

"We are very flexible reacting to all complaints from the media," he added.

India Flag-raising

The Indian national flag will be raised at the Mountain Olympic Village on Sunday.

The event marks India’s return to the Olympic Movement 14 months after the IOC banned the national Olympic committee for government interference andgovernance issues.

Elections were held at the weekend and the IOC accepted the NOC’s new constitution, leading to the IOC revoking the ban earlier this week.

Warmest Weather of Games

Sochi’s coastal Olympic hub is bathed in sunshine on day five, with spectators wandering around the park enjoying the warmest weather of the Games so far.

At around 16 degrees Celsius and with more warm weather to come, Sochi 2014 is on track to become one of the warmest ever Winter Olympics.

In the mountain cluster, it was expected to be around 14 degrees Celsius mid-afternoon today.

Athletes’ Commission Elections

IOC communications chief Adams told the briefing today that there had been a "good response" from athletes voting for new members of the IOC Athletes’Commission.

Elections will be held next week. Nine candidates are vying for two seats on the commission, with voting completed next Thursday. The results will be announced at the IOC Session.

Last summer, two athletes were disqualified over rules regarding promotion of candidacies for the athletes’ commission.

Adams said the IOC was keen to avoid a repeat of the controversy in Sochi. "After London a lot of lessons were learnt and we are trying to follow procedures as best we can," he added.

New Events Debut

Luge relay makes its first appearance at the Olympics on Thursday. A total of 12 teams are competing, with the gold decided at the Sanki Sliding Center tonight.

There are also medal sessions today in biathlon, cross-country, men’s ski slopestyle, ladies 500m in short track and 1000m in speedskating.

Sochi By Numbers

61,767 tickets were sold for events on Wednesday 971,274 total tickets sold to date 28m Canadians have tuned into some part of the Sochi Olympics NBC’s 5-day rating is up 13 percent on Torino 2006 and about the same as Vancouver 2010

Wo ist Thomas?

IOC president Thomas Bach is at short track speedskating and luge relay today.

Written by Brian Pinelli and Mark Bisson.

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