Jan 31, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT
While acknowledging the inherent risk that comes with “large international gatherings,” President Barack Obama has said in an interview with CNN that he believes the Olympics are safe.
When CNN asked Obama what he would say to friends wanting to attend the competition in Sochi, he said: “I’d tell them that I believe that Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings.”
Security concerns remain paramount for officials. Obama expressed his confidence that Russian security forces can protect everyone involved with and attending the competition.
“The Russian authorities understand the stakes here,” he said in the TV interview. “They understand that there are potential threats that are out there, and we are coordinating with them. We’ve looked at their plans.
“I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there.”
Obama did advise American citizens traveling to Sochi to check with the U.S. State Department before they go and see about what “prudent measures” they can take to help ensure their safety.
Obama and his family will not be attending the Olympics.
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