January 27th, 2014
09:45 AM ET

Welcome to Sochi, the Security Games

A trip to the Winter Olympics in Sochi should be all about superhuman feats of skill or endurance on skis, skates or bobsleighs. But hearing the talk of U.S. security plans in the run-up to the Games in Russia next month, visitors may think they are entering a war zone.

Contingency plans for evacuating Americans in case of an attack are well in hand, it would seem.

The United States is moving to two warships into the Black Sea. If ordered, helicopters could be launched from there to Sochi, a U.S. official told CNN recently.

And if more capacity is needed, C-17 transport aircraft will be on standby in Germany and could be on the scene in about two hours.

That's in addition to U.S. precautions on Russian soil, where FBI agents are now arriving in Sochi to work with their Russian counterparts, according to Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.

"New Day" asked a panel of people related to the Olympics if these security measures assuage their fears or not.

Sequocoria Mallory-Evans, mom of USA bobsled team member Aja Evans, says she will still go to the games and her daughter feels safe.  "We certainly don't portray any type of fear. I'm not afraid to go. I'm excited about going and I'm certainly encouraged that the United States has offered to lend a hand to Russia and Russia has really made this a top priority – security concerns and preparation."

But Kate Carcelen, wife of cross country skier Roberto Carcelen, says she will not go.

Carcelen says she originally wanted to bring her daughter to the games but the more the couple talked about security concerns, the more she could see it stressing out the Olympian.

She says, "There's a little bit of focus he'd like to have rather then wondering where we are. But primarily, I think it's what is happening in the region and the events that are going on there."

Her husband also says "The threat is real. The Olympics are built on the foundation of peace and freedom values. So this is kind of the perfect environment for terrorist groups to let their voices heard. So we feel like it's a little bit stressful. It was a really hard decision for us as a family not to come."

See his take: 

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