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A private crisis-response firm assisting the U.S. ski and snowboard teams for the Winter Olympic Games in Russia has up to five aircraft on standby in the event that medical or security emergencies require an evacuation from Sochi.
The extraordinary preparations are in response to what Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards describes as the "unique challenge'' represented in part by Olympic venues located in the shadow of a terrorist battleground.
USA Hockey spokesman Dave Fischer declined to discuss the team's security plan and the involvement of private security, though he maintained that the safety of the team is "the first priority.''
"We have utilized various tactics over the course of history,'' Fischer said. "Private security absolutely is a tactic.''
"Our advance preparations are dramatically enhanced for Sochi, particularly considering planning for potential mass evacuation involving dozens or hundreds of people,'' he said. "Our medical evacuation, in contrast, is typically (for) just one or a few people.''
I hate to say this because it may very well become true. Something bad is going to happen at the games. I would not take a free ticket if you gave it to me. Russia is simply too corrupt to imagine it being difficult to get stuff by security.
I sure hope I am wrong.