Political Science minds give warning in upcoming Olympic games - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Political Science minds give warning in upcoming Olympic games

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Dr. Tim Schorn, University of South Dakota Dr. Tim Schorn, University of South Dakota
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV)- As security is tightened in Sochi, Russia, some political experts say that all the preparation in the world won't be able to solve the political turmoil in the Sochi area, and certainly not in time for the Olympics.

One local political mind says concern for Olympic security is very valid.

Multiple bombings and shootings near and around an Olympic games site is enough to make anyone nervous.

"There are real, real and substantial security concerns in the area around Sochi," Dr. Tim Schorn, University of South Dakota said.

But Dr. Tim Schorn, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota, says understanding the reasons behind the recent attacks is important.

He says that tensions are still high just 30 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and public opinion of the government is less than positive.

"Really, to a great extent, they are fighting the government, because they want to be more autonomous, possibly even independent and the Russian government. We see some of those tensions still playing themselves out," Dr. Schorn said.

Those tensions are creating concern for the athletes traveling to compete in Sochi, but Dr. Schorn says security is so tight in Sochi that the town itself may not be the biggest concern.

"They might not attack Sochi. That might not be a possibility. But they can attack areas where people will be traveling through, they can carry out attacks that are less protected," Dr. Schorn said.

Sochi itself is not a large city, and Dr. Schorn says that means almost everyone competing or attending the games will have to arrive from surrounding areas that don't have as much protection.

He also says the temperate climate and lack of facilities that are up to Olympic standards, have put in to question why Sochi was chosen as the site in the first place.

"It was probably a bad choice. One, we can't even be sure that the climate of the Sochi region is appropriate for a Winter Olympics. Two, we see a very corrupt and increasingly oppressive Russian government," Dr. Schorn said.

Which he says may be the reason Sochi got the Olympic bid.

"We like to think that international athletic events are detached from politics, but that's absurd. Politics permeates everything," Dr. Schorn said.

Dr. Schorn says he's sure Russia will want to put their best face forward, but a lot of concern will subside once the games have started,and even more so when they're finished.

"I think there will be a lot of sighs of relief when the games are over," Dr. Schorn said.

Which both Olympic organizers and athletes hope holds true throughout the international competition.

The games begin on February 6 and can be seen on KTIV and NBC.

The Opening Ceremonies are February 7.

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