"Terrorism must never triumph. We trust that the Russian authorities… (Valentin Flauraud / EPA )
In a New Year's message, the president of the International Olympic Committee insisted the upcoming 2014 Sochi Games must not bow to "cowardly" terrorism.
"This will be their time to shine," Thomas Bach said in a statement. "We must ensure that nothing interferes with them realizing their full potential on the world’s biggest sporting stage."
Sochi is relatively close to the Caucasus region, a hotbed for terrorism. Last summer, Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov encouraged "maximum force" to prevent Russia from staging what he called the "satanic games held on the bones of our ancestors."
A pair of recent suicide bombings in Volgograd, about 400 miles from Sochi, has raised fears of more trouble.
"Terrorism must never triumph," Bach said. "We trust that the Russian authorities will deliver safe and secure Olympic Winter Games for all athletes and all participants."
Russian officials have said they will create lock-down security zones around Sochi beginning early this month.
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