TODAY | December 31, 2013
>> scott blackman is the ceo of the u.s. olympic committee . mr. blackman , good morning.
>> good morning, matt.
>> normally you're a month away from the opening ceremony but in the last couple of days i've heard more and more people talking about safety and security and terrorism. seth westcot said if he makes the team this year he may skip opening ceremony out of fears for safety. are you hearing that from other athletes?
>> there's no question that it's heightened everyone's awareness. i want to start by offering our condolences to the people of russia for this terrible attack. as you know, we take security very seriously. each games presents a different kind of challenge for us. but the events of the last 30 or 48 hours have definitely got our attention, matt.
>> in the past, all nations that hosted olympic games have had sworn enemies. the difference this time around is that the sworn enemy of russia sits right next door to sochi and that's where their most violent terrorist group sits along with the leader who has called for disruption of these games. are you worried about the proximity?
>> we're concerned. this is the first time we've had an incident so close to the games in terms of geography and time. but the reality is there are different challenges at every game. in this case, we got a review of what can happen but we're hopeful that the russian's commitment to security which is one of the highest levels of commitment we have ever seen from a government and organizing committee will serve us well. the truth is our interests are probably more aligned with russias on this issue than any other. we have a fairly high degree of confidence that they are super focused on the issue right now.
>> if, and i stress, if something terror related does occur in sochi is there a plan for the u.s. team and the u.s. delegation?
>> you know, we have contingency plans at every game. we have plans for injuries and plans for incidents. yes, we always have contingency plans in place and we hope they never come into being.
>> and in terms of finding a balance here, when you say that the russians are committed to safety, do you think they'll be able to find the proper balance between staging an athletic competition and creating an armed encampment as we just heard in that piece?
>> balance is exactly the right word. it's funny, a few weeks ago we were talking about the fact that it was going to be difficult to get in and out of the park. and i suspect that people will be a lot more tolerant of that today than they might have been two or three weeks ago.
>> scott blackman , the ceo of the u.s. olympic committee joining us from colorado springs this morning. thank you so much. we wish you good luck.
>> thank you.