The first flag raising ceremony for teams moving into the special village for the forthcoming Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, in Austria, was held on Tuesday (27 January).
The first flag raising ceremony for teams moving into the special village for the forthcoming Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, in Austria, was held on Tuesday (27 January). The ceremony was conducted in honour of the Japanese and Swiss teams, the first to move into the Olympic village.
The Japanese and Swiss flags were raised above the village which glistened under a thick blanket of snow in brilliant sunshine.
The Mayor of Innsbruck, Mr. Hans Jilg, told those attending the ceremony that the Olympics were an example of how competition and friendship could coexist between nations.
However, the high wire fence around the Olympic village, the battery of flood lights, and the 2,500 police equipped with firearms and guard dogs patrolling the village provided a paradoxical background to the Mayor's words. Even foreign diplomats visiting Innsbruck are asked to leave their passports at the village reception office.
The Austrian authorities are anxious to avoid any repetition of the massacre of athletes that occurred during the Munich Olympics in 1972 when the Olympic village there was raided by Arab guerrillas. Austrian security arrangements for international meetings have already received a setback when members of several oil producing nations were kidnapped during a recent meeting in Vienna.
Notices are posted in four languages in and around the village of Innsbruck explaining to visitors the security arrangements.