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Olympic athletes' families worry about safety at Sochi games

Families and coaches of Olympic athletes from the northeast are keeping one eye on the news as they prepare for the trip of a lifetime.
Recent violence in Russia just south of the site of the Winter Olympics has some on edge. The father of Olympic figure skater and Sudbury native, Megan Duhamel, says he expects security like never before when he gets to Sochi.

Families and coaches of Olympic athletes from the northeast are keeping one eye on the news as they prepare for the trip of a lifetime.

The International Olympic Committee says it has "full confidence" that Russian authorities will deliver safe and secure games in Sochi in five weeks, despite two suicide bomb attacks in the Russian city of Volgograd that killed 34.

The father of Olympic figure skater Megan Duhamel says it's hard to sit in Sudbury and watch the violence unfold abroad.

Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford will be taking part in the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Duhamel's father says it's hard to sit in Sudbury and watch the violence unfold abroad.

Daniel Duhamel said his daughter, Megan, hasn't said anything, and is consumed by intense preparations for the Nationals and then the Olympics.

But Duhamel said the Olympic authorities have been in touch with him.

“We have been assured by the Canadian Olympic Committee that security will be at an all-time high in Sochi,” he said. “It's still very concerning.”

'We have no control'

Duhamel said he and his family will fly in to Sochi from Istanbul, which he's been told is the safest route.

Over in Sault Ste Marie, the coach of the Brad Jacobs curling team said it's the families he worries about.

Tom Coulterman said they'll be staying at some distance from the village. He said they'll face hours of waiting to gain access to venues as credentials are checked and double-checked.

“The biggest concern is that they're not within the secured village like the coaches and athletes are,” he said.

“They're in a hotel that's 10 kilometres away from where we will be staying and where all of the arena events basically are taking place.”

The coach of the Brad Jacobs curling team says it's the families he worries about, as they'll be staying at some distance from the Olympic village.

Coulterman is advising his team to concentrate on curling and try to let go of matters beyond their control.

Duhamel said it's stressful to have to let go.

“I think it's harder on us because we have no control … we're just supporting the trust in other people to do things,” he said.

“As parents, when it comes to your children, you're usually the one that does everything for them.”

The games start in about five weeks.

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