CNR AT THE WINTER GAMES INDEX PHOTOS - WOMENS' SPORTS AT CNR - CNR MAIN INDEX



February 23, 2006


Gates and fences and guards and soldiers surround us,
and we have our identification strung around our necks, pendants
that authorize our right to be where we are supposed to be.

FEELING SAFE

Since I have been in Torino, things have happened in the world that would seemingly have nothing to do with the Olympics.  The vice-president of the United States shot somebody while hunting quail.  Nick sued Jessica for spousal support.   Cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper created a global panic. 

But of course, it is all related, and it all matters.  The Danish team sent just one squad – its curlers – to these Games, and upon their arrival they were put under additional security.  Did they feel safe?  Their fans apparently didn’t, having made remarks to the press that they weren’t going to wave flags or raucously cheer (curling matches can get quite intense), attempting to hide who they were.

According to Italian police, Denmark’s security force here in Torino is on par with that of the United States and Israel, which has had heightened detail since the tragedy of Munich in 1972.  For the Olympic community, Munich was a security turning point, just as 9.11 now serves as a reference for the United States’ own understanding of feeling safe.  With all that goes on in the world, Torino has had a lot to think about:  the train bombings in Spain, the London subway explosions, the continued relationship between Italy and the U.S. in Iraq.  The impact on Italian way of life has been somewhat considerable.  You need photo identification to use the Internet in a café, for example, and Muslim women are no longer allowed to completely veil their faces.  And the Olympics, as always, are in complete lockdown, meaning that before you enter or leave an area, your bag and your person are searched.   Living here is like going through airport security several times per day.

This is nothing new for those of us who have done it all before.  But does it make us feel safe?  Gates and fences and guards and soldiers surround us, and we have our identification strung around our necks, pendants that authorize our right to be where we are supposed to be.   And all of it serves to remind us that when we take leave of this place in just a few days, the rest of the world is waiting for our re-entry – a world where Lindsey Jacobellis’s silver disappointment and Shaun White’s golden moment and Bode Miller's frustrations and Michelle Kwan's Olympics that never were are all going to be put into a perspective that makes other things seem more important, and yet also serve to make us understand just how critical these seventeen days really are.



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D U R I N G  T H E  W I N T E R  G A M E S ?

C L I C K  H E R E
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on the CNR At The Winter Games website!
m o r e


Be sure to check back often for Dr. Amy Bass's updates to her
Online CNR Winter Olympic Games Diary.


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