British Olympic Association: 'Plans in place to evacuate Team GB from Winter Olympics'

The British Olympic Association confirms that plans are in place to evacuate Team GB's athletes from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

The British Olympic Association has confirmed that plans are in place to evacuate Great Britain's athletes from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea's first Olympics since the 1988 Seoul Games will take place in February next year, but there have been rising tensions between the United States and North Korea over the latter's nuclear weapons programme and ballistic missile tests.

While the BOA is not expecting to have to implement those emergency procedures in Pyeongchang, just 50 miles south of the North Korean border, it is preparing for the worst-case scenario.

"The South Koreans have lived with this for 60 years and tensions have gone up and down. There seems a higher level this time obviously," BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney told reporters in London.

"We are working on all possible contingency plans. The only one you have in the situation of the extreme event you mentioned (about a potential North Korean attack) is evacuation.

"We will go there with a clearly laid out evacuation plan if it is necessary. I don't think it will be necessary. The health and welfare of the delegation is our number one priority."

Sweeney revealed that the BOA had similar evacuation plans in place for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, given the concerns about violence in the Brazilian city.

"I lost a lot more sleep going to Rio than Pyeongchang," Sweeney continued. "The security threat in Rio was a lot more personal, a lot more unpredictable.

"We were prepared against any opportunity around mugging and crime and the violent nature of Rio. They are things that are difficult to manage.

"South Korea as a country is really safe and secure, probably one of the safest you can go into."

The 2018 Winter Olympics take place between February 9 and February 25.

Members of Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic teams enter Trafalgar Square during the London 2012 Victory Parade for Team GB and Paralympic GB athletes on September 10, 2012
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