Olympic Security Off to a Shaky Start in Rio
- By Sydny Shepard
- Aug 08, 2016
Security for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro got off to a shaky start on Saturday, July 6 following the Olympic opening ceremony. Venues stayed empty as athletes competed for the gold while spectators shaken by shooting and bomb scares waited outside in long security lines.
Organizers admittedly dropped the ball on Day One of the Olympics, apologizing to fans after the security checkpoint lines reached several blocks away from the venues. Officials blamed a lack of coordination between security personnel, including the police, Games staff, and private security firms.
In addition to the long lines at security checkpoints, the Games have been plagued with a string of killings, kidnappings and robberies in the recent days starting on Friday, July 5th.
Those who were leaving the ceremony were shocked to see the body of a 22-year-old shot dead by the police after he was accused of robbing several people. Little details have been released on the investigation as of Monday morning.
A 51-year-old woman was also shot dead during a robbery on Friday in the renovated “Marvelous Port” area meant to be a main attraction for Olympic tourists.
On Saturday, the bomb squad was hard at work as they carried out a controlled explosion of an unattended bag, believed to belong to a homeless man, near the finished line of the men’s cycling road race on Copacabana’s boulevard. There have been several other controlled blasts following the initial blast on Saturday as police strengthen security on unattended bags in the area of the Olympic venues.
Other frightening events include a stray bullet that pierced through a plastic tent holding media for the equestrian events, three Swedish men were briefly kidnapped and too many robberies to list.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.