Ridge says Salt Lake City Olympics will be one of most secure places on earth


Thursday, January 10th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Next month's Salt Lake City Olympics will be the most secure sporting event in history, U.S. domestic security chief Tom Ridge said Thursday.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, planners and protectors of the games ``have had to take into consideration every conceivable possible attack,'' Ridge said.

``I would assure you ... they have done everything humanly and technologically possible to prepare, to prevent, to detect, to disrupt and, in the very unlikely event that something were to occur, to respond to it in a meaningful way and very appropriate way,'' he said on NBC's ``Today.''

``We've covered the landscape of possibilities and we're prepared to deal with any situation.

``This is probably going to be one of the most secure places in the world from Feb. 8 through Feb. 24 ... and clearly the safest sporting event ever,'' Ridge said.

In Geneva, Switzerland, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said security will not be as tight as at past games. He predicted visitors will hardly notice increased security resulting from the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

``There won't be a soldier behind every athlete,'' he said.

Rogge added that IOC officials saw no need to re-examine security as a result of a 15-year-old pilot's suicide flight into a skyscraper in Tampa., Fla., on Saturday.

``The scenario of a plane crashing into a venue is a scenario that has been on the risk list for 15 years,'' he said. ``Whether we have the means to prevent it is another issue, but there have been no-fly zones in all Olympic Games for the past decade, and there will be a no-fly zone in Salt Lake City.''