TODAY | January 28, 2014
>>> only nine days left until the start of the winter olympics . and volunteers putting the finishing touches on the venues where athletes will be competing.
>> good morning. no winter games have faced such an acute terrorism threat or been engulfed in politics. but here in the olympic park , they are focused on being ready. and this morning, we got an exclusive first look inside that building behind me there. it's called the iceberg palace. and it's where the skating events will be held. no terrorist threats can hold back the preparations. this morning, they were putting the finishing touches to the ice while volunteers collect uniforms, reinforcing the 40,000 police and military.
>> this is the main arena for figure skating.
>> reporter: she won a gold medal , now she heads up the figure skating arena. here, the first competition will take place.
>> for the judges, olympic skaters.
>> reporter: they're still working, but they are ready, she says.
>> reporter: are you worried about anything?
>> no, i'm not worried.
>> reporter: not worried despite a terrorist attack just 400 miles from sochi last month.
>> the situation is actually serious, the russians have done everything they consider possible in terms of deployment.
>> reporter: back at the ice rink , children who will present flowers to the winners, perhaps future figure skating champions. 13 gold medals will be won on this ice. the americans who win the gold medal are going to be very happy, right?
>> come on. everybody who win gold medal will be happy here.
>> reporter: we can sit here in the judge's seat for a moment?
>> yeah. sure.
>> reporter: amid all the fears and controversy, the stage is set for sochi 2014 .
>> bring on the competitors.
>> reporter: so the excitement is building here. but, again, the controversy is not fading. sochi 's mayor has said in an interview that he believes there are no gay people in this city and that gay people should keep -- as he said is their habit to their themselves. despite all the enthusiasm here, those are comments that fit with the olympic spirit .
>> that's right. every time it seems somebody in russia tries to lower the temperature on this issue, they say something that, in fact, raises the temperature. so it's going to be something we're going to be keeping an eye on as we head over there.