Inside Lines: GB's Olympic security to be beefed up after bombings


British Olympic Association chief Lord Coe will consult with Prime Minister David Cameron, Special Branch and security chiefs on extra safety measures to protect Team GB during next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Last week's suicide bombings in Volgograd which killed 31 people and left scores horrifically injured, and the threat of more to come, have brought a disturbing sense of reality that the danger will be clear and present when the Games begin on 7 February. There is no doubt security will be beefed up by the presence of much more than a handful of G4S minders.

Said a BOA spokeperson: "We will rely primarily on the security provided by the Games organising committee and the host country but, as with previous Olympic Games, we will have security personnel as part of our delegation. That has been in our planning all along. However, we do not disclose the exact number of security personnel nor do we discuss where those individuals will be based, for obvious reasons."

The possibility of SAS involvement cannot be discounted, although the Russian authorities will not officially permit any foreign military presence in the Games village or at event sites. Many overseas nations will incorporate their own international security experts and armed plain-clothed police in their delegation.

While there is no likelihood of a British withdrawal from the event, I understand any concerns expressed by individual team members will be treated "sympathetically". So far only Australia, whose Government always seems first in the queue when it comes to voicing security worries, has threatened to ban its athletes from the Games if terror fears persist.

One team member, Torah Bright, the defending women's halfpipe champion, says: "If the political position gets any worse, I sure as hell won't be risking my safety just for an Olympic Games."

From this week a veritable Iron Curtain will be draped around the Black Sea resort, with all non-essential access to Sochi banned. President Vladimir Putin has vowed to track down and "annihilate" those in Islamic separatist movements who have sworn to disfigure the most expensive and contentious Olympics in history.

Bootsy well suited

Of the gongs dished out in the New Year honours, none are more heartwarming than the long-overdue OBE awarded to Dave Bedford. "Bootsy," the one-time rebel renowned for his Zapata moustache and red socks in his heyday as the hairy monster of the track, has brilliantly run the London Marathon as race director for a decade.

While Bootsy has deservedly been suited, Andy Murray and David Beckham appear to have been wait-listed for knighthoods. Doubtless the tap on the shoulder will come, though it never did for their equally (or perhaps more) illustrious predecessors as Wimbledon champ and England football captain respectively.

Fred Perry won Wimbledon three times but outrageously remained unhonoured while Bobby Moore, shamefully treated by the FA, stayed an OBE despite hoisting the World Cup.

When the Eagle dared

Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards claims that at the height of his popularity as the world's most lamentable ski jumper, he was the George Clooney of snow business. Behind those pebble dash specs was a sex symbol who had groupies beating a path to his hotel door. "What was on offer was more than I could manage."

Now 50 and happily married, the libidinous Bird Man of Calgary reminds us of the response by Peter Crouch, hubby of model and Strictly star Abbey Clancy, when asked what he might have been had he not been a famous footballer. "A virgin," he replied.

Happy New Year.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam