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.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

French Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: French Teacher ? Sou...

Geography Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Geography Teacher ? ...

Cover Supervisor

£50 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced Cover Super...

Cover Supervisor

£50 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Randstad Education is looking to e...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album