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Canoe/Kayak

Olympic Security

Aug. 17, 2008, 7:34 p.m. (ET)

Despite the fears and predictions of many, I’ve never felt the least bit insecure at any time or in any place since I’ve been in Beijing. There are many levels of visible security and, I’m sure, many that are never seen.

There are large numbers of policemen around all the venues and throughout the city in general. Most are no nonsense, strictly business types, though I have seen a few exhibitions of friendliness and humor.  There are also military squads seen marching around or standing at attention around the city, but though they can display a menacing appearance, I’ve really never seen any of them do any other than march or stand.

One thing that I noticed and heard others comment about is the absence of firearms. None of the policemen or military types I’ve seen has carried any visible weapons. I hope that’s because they’re not needed and that none of the local trouble-makers have any either.

The US Department of Homeland Security supplies incremental security for our US teams in China. This is over and above the security provided by the Chinese themselves and that of the USOC. The two young men assigned to our venue at Shunyi have been terrific additions to our team.

They have become friends and fans of our athletes. They are impressively professional, but personable and charming as well.  They are full of humor and enthusiasm. I would say they’re the opposite of those other public servants from the TSA we encounter whenever we fly in the US.

Being around these two young men make you proud of our country and its government.  I would also definitely want to be close by them in case any thing ever did go wrong.

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