Security breaches can be slippery slopes. Fortunately, Friday’s failed planejacking ended with the containment of a Ukranian passenger who, claiming there was a bomb on board, attempted to reroute a Pegasus Airlines flight to land in Sochi during the Olympic Opening Ceremony. This success corroborates the findings of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism:  given that there have been no consistent changes in number of terror attacks during the past five Games, efforts to reinforce Olympic security have generally been effective. However, with the number of terrorist attacks striking Russia skyrocketing from 50 in 2003 to 250 in 2010, public safety at the Sochi Olympics continues to be a top priority. Safety and surveillance measures taken by Olympic officials have been largely successful at mitigating increased risks, but we’re left wondering why sport mega events are targeted in the first place.

Does the “spectacularization” of the Olympics make the games an ideal arena for terror? A historical look at terrorist attacks on the Olympics sheds some light on potential risks facing host cities.
Social forces—such as  global economic conditions and professional network structures—shape the security and surveillance strategies at sport mega events. How do these strategies change as both security concerns and expenditure rise?

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