TODAY | January 26, 2014
>>> olympic athletes will soon be leaving home to head to russia , but that trip comes against the background of a new threat against russia from militants who have already claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing last month, in fact two at tams last month. keir simmons is following this for us from sochi . good morning.
>> reporter: good morning. i'm standing in front of the picturesque mountains that surround sochi as i speak. in the background we can hear music playing as preparations begin for the celebrations that will launch these games. yet, with all those concerns, you talk about there are fewer americans booked to come here than for the last 20 years. high above the olympic park , a security blimp keeps watch this morning. volunteers are picking up uniforms. many more arrive today, bringing enthusiasm, even excitement.
>> i'm having fun . i'm very proud that my country is a host of the games.
>> reporter: but a month after a double suicide bombing in a city 400 miles from sochi that killed at least 34 people, more threats. over the weekend, a new internet message from the group claiming to be behind the attack promising further violence, though not mentioning sochi . many believe the threat to the games itself is low.
>> the security at sochi is going to be huge. i think it would be difficult -- not impossible. nothing is impossible, but difficult to pull off an attack there.
>> president putin 's spokesman says all this concern is an attempt by the west to discredit russia . ordinary russians are typically tough, swimming in the cold waters of the black sea for fun and determined, they say, not to be frightened by threats. sochi is preparing to welcome the world. russia getting ready for its close-up. there are lots of smiling volunteers everywhere you go here now, lester. they have been learning how to welcome americans, how to reach out across the cultural divide . in russia , even the idea of volunteering is new, lester. the world volunteer in russian is taken from the english, volunteer. keir simmons , thanks very much.