Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics: Britain Has Evacuation Plan If North Korea Tensions Escalate
Great Britain’s Olympic officials are preparing a potential evacuation plan for the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea should tensions with North Korea escalate.
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics news
British Olympic Association (BOA) chief executive Bill Sweeney told BBC Sport that “not one single athlete” was concerned about competing in the games, which will begin on February 9.
However, Sweeney added that “welfare officers” would accompany the delegation’s athletes to ensure they feel safe.
Tensions have been increasing between the United States and North Korea over the latter nation’s nuclear weapons program and ballistic missiles tests, particularly following an exchange of insults between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Sweeney added he had been “much more concerned” by the “unpredictable” security threat in Rio, Brazil, which hosted the summer Olympics in 2016.
“The ad-hoc, opportunistic elements of crime were things that we were concerned with and we went to great lengths to make sure that our athletes were as protected as possible,” he said.
The Pyeongchang Games will mark South Korea’s first Olympics since the 1988 Seoul Summer Games.
Pyeongchang is a ski resort town located about 50 miles south of the heavily armed North Korean border.
“Clearly there is an issue around the escalation of tensions between North and South Korea and the Americans,” Sweeney said at BOA headquarters in London. “We talk to the foreign office and the embassy in South Korea on a weekly basis. We had conversations with them last week.”
The flame for the Pyeongchang Games was lit on Tuesday in Olympia, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics. The torch was ignited in front of the 2,600-year-old Temple of Hera.
Greek skier Apostolos Angelis and former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung, who is South Korean, both attended the torch-lighting ceremony.
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: The Athletes take to the ice for a quick demonstration during the Team GB announcement of the Short Track Athletes to compete at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on December 16, 2013 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
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