Boston Globe enterprising sports reporter Shira Springer sat down with Juliette Kayyem to share some security insights and stories from her four Olympic reporting trips.
Shira Springer: What can be the most frightening at, at an Olympics is when the home country wins a big game or a big event and then they pour out into the street to celebrate. And I vividly, vividly remember because I was walking home. It was so safe that I would walk home from the media press center to my hotel which was about a mile and a half, two miles away. It was one of the last nights I was there. And it was frightening because there were cars driving where they shouldn’t have been driving. There were people who just didn’t have control of their senses and shouting and yelling and coming up to you and being rough. The scariest thing had nothing to do with being in a venue, it was a sports celebration. The police were completely overwhelmed because it was such a dramatic win.
Shira Springer: One kind of quirky thing that I remember about Beijing was at first I thought the maids at my hotel were being really, really nice. They always wanted to know, “Where are you going today?” and “What event are you going to see?” and “Are you liking it?” and “How long will you be there?” And I thought these were all questions like, you know, we’ll do the turn-down service before you come back. Kind of that’s what they were angling for. No. This was… They had… And they all spoke excellent, excellent English, the people who worked at the hotel. No, this was, this was very clearly monitoring. Where are you going to be? When are you gonna be there? How long are you gonna be there? And it was like daily.
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