Sheffield pair to head for Sochi confident of their safety

Shelley Rudman
Shelley Rudman
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Sheffield skeleton duo Kristan Bromley and Shelley Rudman say they are sure their safety is of paramount importance to organisers of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The build-up to the 22nd Winter Games has been overshadowed by security concerns in Russia after a twin bomb attack in December killed 34 people in Volgograd, a city roughly 500 miles from Sochi.

UK Government officials are warning that more terrorist attacks in Russia are “very likely to occur” during the Games, which run from February 7 to 23.

But medal hopefuls Bromley and Rudman say they have every faith in the British Olympic Association and the International Olympic Committee that everything is being done to guarantee the safety of the athletes and their families.

This is not the first time that Bromley has gone into an Olympics with concerns over safety, with his debut coming in Salt Lake City in 2002 just five months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

“In Salt Lake City the threat of terrorism was very much at the height of everybody’s agenda,” said the 41-year-old.

“It was similar going in there because it was a big unknown and no one knew what to expect, but everybody just trusted in the organisations to look after us and it was a peaceful, fantastic Games.

“We’re fully hoping and expecting that will be the same in Sochi.

“I think everybody is concerned, but we’re going out there to perform; we have a team behind us that are dealing with all that and advising us as we go.

“We trust that the BOA and the IOC will look after our safety. As we go along we’ll be updated, but at this point I’m not overly concerned. Obviously there is a slight concern, but not enough to stop us going.

“We’re confident that our safety is paramount and that the organisers are doing everything they can with the Government and the IOC and the Russian Federation. It’s in their interests, after all, that all athletes are as safe as possible.”

Bromley and Rudman have yet to decide whether to travel to Russia with their six-year-old daughter Ella, who normally travels the world with them

Rudman, 32, a silver medallist in Turin, said: “It’s something we’re really aware of and both Kristan and I have discussed it, but all we can do at the minute is look to our national federation and the IOC and know that they will have our best interests at heart.”