Vance has provided Olympic security services since the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea, and has successfully protected major corporate sponsors through seven Olympic Games, developing in-depth knowledge and expertise in providing security for one of the world's most visible and well-attended events.
According to Vance, security for the upcoming Olympic Games will be greatly enhanced with a completely new digital communications system, a single operations center linking all event venues and facilities and aerial and electronic surveillance. The Italian government has indicated that more than 10,000 police officers will provide security for 15 sports venues, three athletes' villages and the Olympic Stadium for opening and closing ceremonies. The 17-day Winter Olympics will host an estimated 5,000 athletes, thousands of guests and executives of official sponsor companies and more than 1.5 million spectators.
"The organizers of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games have done an outstanding job of strengthening security for the event," said Robert Sikellis, managing director and Olympic security expert at Vance, who noted that many of the new capabilities were developed for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, which brought more than 2 million people to Rome last April. "The Olympic Committee has deployed a combination of new digital radio systems linked with a single operations center for all security activities that enables us to provide unparalleled security to our clients throughout the games."
According to Sikellis, companies often delay or miss the step of assessing their risks and vulnerabilities and should take time now to plan for potential crises. "With the games less than a month away, it's important at least to review the company's contingency plans and educate travelers on personal safety tactics and policies," noted Sikellis. "We've seen that this step helps company attendees and guests avoid inconveniences, understand communication procedures, and improve their overall enjoyment of the games."