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Tight security not to blame for Olympic empty seats

Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 01:29

Feb. 9 - Despite tight security and reports of empty stadium seats at Sochi, spectators are focusing on enjoying the second day of the Winter Olympics. Gavino Garay reports.

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Nearly 20 percent of the stadium seats at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games have been empty. But that's not because organizers didn't manage to sell tickets... (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOCHI 2014 VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, ALEKSANDRA KOSTERINA, SAYING: "We had, if we talk about yesterday, we had pretty full stadia, 92 percent of tickets were sold, we might have lost around ten percent of people who actually showed up..." They say it's because spectators are showing up too close to the start of the games. That doesn't not give them enough time to go through stringent security checks to get in on time. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOCHI 2014 VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, ALEKSANDRA KOSTERINA, SAYING: "Basically a Russian mentality in a lot of ways that Russians like to come to the event not prior, but as close as possible and that is why indeed we had an issue of a lot of spectators being late for the games." Security has been tight here at the Games in Sochi -- But it's been more of an issue elsewhere in Russia. On the eastern coast, a gunman opened fire at an Orthodox church on Sunday, killing at least two people, and wounding six others. At the Vatican, Pope Francis had a message of peace for the athletes: (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "I would like to extend my greetings to the organizers and all the athletes, with the hope that this may be a true celebration of sport and friendship." With the second day of the games well underway, spectators are less concerned with security, and more focused on the Games themselves. Which on Sunday include Alpine skiing, figure skating, the luge, and snowboarding, among other events.

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Tight security not to blame for Olympic empty seats

Sunday, February 09, 2014 - 01:29