The suicide bombings in Russia serve as a chilling reminder of what the Winter Olympics represent to terrorists: A high-profile target with more than 2,500 athletes, some of them world-famous, waving the flags of nearly 90 nations.
So, while many Olympic leaders offered reassurance on the day after two bombings 400 miles from Sochi killed at least 31 people, some of those getting ready to compete in the Games spoke of a different reality. They know their security is never sure thing.
"I am concerned," said U.S. speedskater Jilleanne Rookard. "I'm scared their security may be involved. I don't know if I necessarily trust their security forces. But they don't want a national embarrassment, either. I use that thought to relieve some of my worry. I'm sure they want to save their image and their pride."
Indeed, the Russians vow the athletes will be safe, even though they will be competing in a city 300 miles away from the roots of an Islamist insurgency that has triggered security concerns for the Games, which start Feb. 7.
The country has spent a record $51 billion preparing for its first Winter Games and has promised to make the Games "the safest in Olympic history."
Olympic hopeful Theresa Cliff-Ryan was injured when she landed on her head after being struck on the sideline by a speedskater.
The 35-year-old Cliff-Ryan had her back to the ice during an off-day practice session at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, having completed her workout. Suddenly, Kevin Geminder lost his balance on the front straightaway while going full speed. He slid off the track and right into Cliff-Ryan, flipping her into the air.
AUTO RACING Doctors offered a grim assessment of Michael Schumacher's head injuries, providing no prognosis for the Formula One driving great after his skiing accident in the French Alps.
Schumacher has been placed in a medically induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain, which suffered bruising and bleeding when the retired seven-time world champion fell and struck a rock Sunday while skiing during a family vacation.
Schumacher's wife, Corinna, daughter Gina Maria and son Mick were at his bedside.
COLLEGES David Cutcliffe, who led Duke to its first 10-win season and spot in the ACC championship game, was named the Bobby Dodd coach of the year.
Inquirer wire services