Athletes warned not to wear big country logos to Sochi
By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON (Reuters) - Athletes heading to the Sochi Winter Olympics have been warned not to wear team kit with large logos promoting their country on their way to Russia due to security concerns, British Olympic officials said on Thursday.
Britain has joined the United States in cautioning athletes and officials against wearing "overtly branded" clothing en route to Sochi where the athletes' village opens on Thursday.
Security at the Winter Games is expected to be tight with the potential threat of an attack on Sochi, which lies on the western edge of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, scene of an insurgency aiming to create an Islamist state.
A spokeswoman for the British Olympic Association (BOA) said its 56 athletes and 64 officials were advised to travel in items from their 111-piece team kit with small, discrete logos.
"While we have not received any information or advice suggesting an increase in the threat level, we are taking a common-sense approach in recommending that team members wear less overtly branded Team GB kit during their journey to Sochi," the BOA spokeswoman said.
"This advice is similar to guidance being offered to other delegations by their respective National Olympic Committees."
Concern about potential attacks on the February 7-23 Games has heightened in the wake of twin suicide bombings last month in the city of Volgograd, about 700 km (400 miles) northeast of Sochi, which killed 34 people.
British officials have warned that further attacks were likely and could take place anywhere in Russia. Continued...