JACK'S SMACK: Mixed emotions about Sochi Olympics

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - I have mixed emotions about the winter Olympic Games which are just underway in Sochi. I think some of us might be a little nervous. I know I am.

Many of us grew up fearing the Russians. They were the bad guys who could hurt us. To be honest, I still have a sense of that.

I trust I'm not the only one who reads this stuff and listens to the news reports. CNN tells us that 57 percent of Americans surveyed in a poll earlier this week fear a terrorist attack will take place at these Olympic Games.

Keep in mind, 51 percent thought that would happen in the 1996 games in Atlanta...and it did.

The area close to the Black Sea resort of Sochi is notorious for harboring people we have become suspicious of.

Those brothers who struck during the Boston Marathon are tied to this surrounding area, as are many militants.

I had a conversation with a friend who wondered out loud why we even get involved in these games when it goes against everything we represent.

In Russia, they have a major gay rights problem and of course, the security concern over there where they have assembled a security force of 4,000.

Russian authorities described it as "a ring of steel."

What's going on here?

These athletes have trained long and hard to be able to compete at this level. This is supposed to be their time to shine-- and they will.

Bottom line here: it comes down to the almighty dollar. These games have a $50 billion price tag on them because of TV. Fifty billion dollars; that's more than all the other winter Olympics combined.

Still, you have to question the International Olympic Committee for selection of this venue. None of us want to hear reports of shooting stray dogs. That has been a big story over there the past few days.

My worst fears are still with me that this part of the world cannot be trusted.

We can only hope the next 16 days will be about all the great athletes from around the world and not this  other stuff which has been grabbing most of the headlines leading up to the games.

That's Jack's Smack.

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