With great interest, I followed the winter Olympics in Sochi from both a personal and a professional perspective. To be honest, I am watching a lot more television than I usually do. Since the whole family is active in skiing and snowboarding we try to see as many events as possible. Furthermore, it is hard to escape the hype around the Canadian men and women’s hockey teams. Add that to a Dutch heritage with interest in speed skating and the picture is complete.
From a professional standpoint, my focus was on the way the Russians were ensuring security. The presence of so many security officers on the streets makes for a clear deterrent. Also the technology and the intelligence play an important role. Most noticeable was the early preparation of the security of the games. Early preparation and involvement of all relevant stakeholders supports a multi-angle approach and enough time to develop scenario thinking. This not only holds true for large events as the Olympics, but for all security operations. The length of the preparation time is of course determined by the size and the complexity of the project. However the results are always better with ample time to prepare, brainstorm and run through different scenarios, identifying the risks and measures to mitigate.