Kearney feels secure and in the zone

Mon Feb 3, 2014 8:20am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Alan Baldwin

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Olympic moguls champion Hannah Kearney has plenty on her mind as she prepares to defend her title in Sochi but security is not one of the U.S. freestyle skier's bigger concerns.

"I truly feel just as safe and secure here as I have at the previous two Olympics," she told reporters on Monday after her first few days in the athletes' village in the mountains.

"We've never stayed in the athletes' village before while we're competing and actually that adds an element of comfort because you are already in the secure zone. So we're just walking up the hill right to our mogul course...It's been wonderful."

Security at the Winter Games has been likened to a sixth Olympic ring around Sochi, which lies on the western edge of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus where an insurgency is aiming to create an Islamist state.

Concern about potential attacks on a showcase event for Russian leader Vladimir Putin grew after twin suicide bombings in December killed 34 people in Volgograd, a city some 700 km (400 miles) northeast of Sochi.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said he believes Sochi is safe and Kearney, focusing on her training, agreed it felt that way so far.

In Vancouver four years ago, getting to the Olympic competition venue at Cypress Mountain involved the stresses of travelling by van through repeated security checks and metal detectors.

"Clearly there have been a lot of questions about security and a lot of focus on it, and with that (we) came in with some expectations that it would be different and more stressful and it has not," said the 27-year-old.   Continued...

U.S. mogul skier Hannah Kearney looks up at the mountain while taking a break during a night training session for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the extreme park in Rosa Khutor, Russia February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake