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Boston Marathon bombs raise worries for Olympics, World Cup


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Guarding the Olympics is a massive operation covering 17 days of competition in numerous outdoor and indoor venues. Not only are sports facilities at risk, but so are the public areas where fans and spectators congregate. At the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, a backpack bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, killing one person and injuring more than 100.

"The balance is not easy," Heiberg said. "Of course, you can provide security but we don’t want to show the world pictures of soldiers and police with guns and so on. It’s the same for Rio and all the others to come."

At a glance

Boston Marathon head: Race will go on in 2014

The Boston Marathon says the race will go on in 2014.

The executive director of the Boston Athletic Association calls the race a “deeply held tradition — an integral part of the fabric and history of our community.”

Thomas Grilk says in a statement Tuesday that organizers are “committed to continuing that tradition” with the 118th Boston Marathon in 2014.

Grilk adds that his group is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation of the bombings. Three people were killed and more than 170 were injured near the marathon finish line Monday.

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Rio organizers, who will be hosting the first Olympics in South America, said they are working with the government to "deliver safe games in 2016."

The city has won kudos for its crackdown on once-endemic drug violence in preparation for hosting the World Cup and Olympics. But safety has been a big topic in Rio recently after an American woman was gang raped and beaten aboard a public transit van while her handcuffed French boyfriend looked on helplessly.

Ahead of next year’s World Cup, Brazil is hosting the Confederations Cup in June. The warm-up tournament featuring eight teams will be played in six cities across the country and is seen as a big test for organizers in all areas.

On Sunday, two fans were shot to death on their way to a match meant to test the facilities at a World Cup stadium in northeastern Brazil. Rival supporters were suspected in the killings.

The terror threat was considered high for last year’s London Olympics, where overall security costs rose above 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion). London was hit by terrorism in 2005, when 52 people were killed in attacks by suicide bombers on the city’s transportation network.

London’s huge security operation included thousands of police and military troops and deployment of warships, surveillance aircraft, sniper-carrying helicopters, fighter jets and missile batteries on rooftops.

Denis Oswald, who headed the IOC coordination commissions for the Athens and London Olympics, said the games remain a potential target wherever they are held and the Boston attacks do not radically change the security planning for Sochi or Rio.

"Each case has to be studied," Oswald said. "It could be new ways or new systems put in place. We just have to make sure these types of cases are covered by the security system. We have to be 100 percent vigilant and never neglect any possibility."


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Associated Press writers Natiliya Vasilyeva, Vladimir Isachenkov and Yelena Yegorova in Moscow, and AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni in Sao Paulo, Brazil, contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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