Editorial: Games may have just gotten safer

Dec. 31, 2013 @ 11:09 PM

We can lament and share common ground with Russia. And we have every reason to believe the Olympic Games in Sochi next month will be a success.

Attacks on Sunday and Monday jolted the host country and, very likely, a good number of Olympians around the globe. More than 30 people were killed in Volgograd, about 400 miles to the north of the main Olympic village, by bomb blasts.

The second was a suicide bomber.

The Games are Feb. 7-23. That’s plenty of time for review upon review of the security measures already planned. Our best guess is plans were already incredibly secure.

If anything, the two blasts may just have made these Games a bit safer if that is even possible.

Salt Lake City was preparing to host the Winter Games in 2002. Months before, our country was rocked by the despicable and cowardly acts of terrorism now known as 9/11.

At Salt Lake, security had never been higher. North Carolina was connected, too, with the Marine Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment C, from Cherry Point providing surveillance and radar control.

There were no incidents of significance. And we hope there’ll be none in Sochi.

The officials with the Games, on many levels, are saying the right things.

They are pledging confidence in the host country to provide a secure environment. They are also encouraging a strong response, to be resilient and united. Terrorism and fear that comes with it can’t be allowed to prevail. And they are also recognizing that terrorism is a global problem, not linked to any one country or cause.

In the early aftermath, there is no indication the two bombings were even linked to the Olympic Games.

We’re excited about the possibilities of the Games, as always. The competition brings together countries and athletes of all types. There is grace and beauty. There is strength and endurance. And there is the unknown, the incredible highlights and accomplishments that will mark these Games forever.

We can’t turn a blind eye to the bombings and feel they don’t have an impact just weeks before the start of the Games. But we agree with Olympic officials. These Games must go on, and terrorism must be defeated.