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‘It’s not worth it': Smith won’t bring family to Sochi for Olympics

Jan 22, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT

mikesmithgetty Getty Images

As concern grows among NHL players regarding participation in Sochi for the Winter Olympics, Mike Smith announced he wouldn’t be bringing his family with him when he represents Team Canada.

“They’re not gonna go. It’s not worth it,” Smith explained, per Coyotes game host Todd Walsh. “For myself, it’s about thinking if she’s [wife Brigitte] OK when I’m not with her. It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it is.”

Smith, one of the three goalies named to the Canadian squad, has two children with a third on the way, and is one of the first players to openly acknowledge he’s leaving his family behind over security concerns. It’s worth noting that his wife is a former competitive skier that represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.

“From everything I’ve heard, the Olympic village will be very secure and once we’re over there, I’m sure everything will be fine,” Smith said. “But obviously with what’s gone there on leading up to the Olympics, there’s always some concern.

“The Olympics are supposed to be an exciting time, and one that so many athletes train so hard for. When there’s that extra baggage of security concerns and other things like that, it’s obviously frustrating.”

According to a report from the Washington Post, Russian security officials are hunting down a trio of potential suicide bombers, one of whom is believed to be in Sochi.

Earlier this week, Washington captain and Russian team member Alex Ovechkin appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and said the Olympics won’t be dangerous.

  1. areaman714 - Jan 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    Can’t say that I blame him . . .

    • jcmeyer10 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Me either, it scarily seems like a matter of when not if. Wouldn’t blame any athlete if they didn’t go.

      Also, if Area Man is in reference to the Onion then you are officially my favorite handle.

      • areaman714 - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        Then I have your favorite handle!

  2. westinpat - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    “It’s not worth it”, guess he figured out he is not touching the ice except for practices.

    • joey4id - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      I interpreted that having her there, and constantly thinking about how safe she is going to be more distracting than anything else. Heck! I wouldn’t bring my family over there. it’s going to be pure mayhem regardless of security.

      • westinpat - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        Yeah, that is probably the case but this guy likes to talk a lot. He loves all the attention.

  3. sjsharks66 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I do not blame him either. I am actually very concerned for all the players going over for the Olympics. It sucks that these are the times we live in.

    • joey4id - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Agreed! Even if they catch the three suspected suicide bombers, there will be more lurking.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      This is how it has always been. The athletes are far more safe now than they have ever been in the past.

  4. proudliberal85392 - Jan 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Smitty’s right. Not the greatest or smartest venue ever.

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      I am surprised to find myself in agreement with you, proudliberal.

      Allow me to take it one step further. Awarding Russia the Olympics was the worst Olympic decision ever. Terrorism in Russia has been going on for years. How in the H-E-double hockey sticks did anyone in their right mind think that having the Olympics in Russia was a good idea?

      Apologies to Ovi. I’ve been to Russia. The Russian people are wonderful and kind. But, this idea of the Olympics there? Epic fail!

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:05 PM

        P.S. I hope I’m wrong.

      • joey4id - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        I don’t know that I disagree. The question we need to answer is; where is it safe to have the Olympics?

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        The easy answer, joey, is someplace where people don’t continue to blow themselves up as an almost daily occurrence and take out another 20 to 30 people (or more) at the same time.

        Six months before I went to Russia in November 2010, two suicide bombers blew themselves up on the Moscow subway and killed 40. Two months after I returned to the U.S., another suicide bomber blew himself up in the baggage claim area of Moscow’s airport killing at least 37 people.

        And this is in Moscow – Russia’s capital. If they can’t keep the capital safe, how in the heck does anyone believe that a resort near Dagestan, the virtual center of the violence, will be safe?

        Again, would someone please tell me why Russia was a good place to have the Olympics?

      • comeonnowguys - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        I don’t think Russia in and of itself was the worst decision. I think Sochi was. It’s almost like the IOC didn’t even look at a map. Georgia, Chechnya, it’s all right there for you and they’ve been disrupting the region for a while.

      • stakex - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        @joey4id I don’t agree with you much, but I think that’s a great question…. where indeed?

        The fact is that violence and terrorism is possible anywhere. Granted hosting the Olympics so close to a hotbed of terrorist activity and unrest was probably a terrible idea, but there will always be a significant threat.

        What’s funny is that most of the people posting here are probably American, and they probably think America would be some sort of beacon of safety… but its no safer here than most of the rest of the world. Remember the Boston bombings? How about 9/11…. the largest terrorist attack in the history of the planet. If you also choose to count mass shootings, which I do, American is every bit as dangerous and violent as Russia is (perhaps even more so). Hell, our gun culture alone is enough to make people from around the world nervous when coming here… and with 11,000 firearm murders a year, I don’t blame them.

        The point is, even here in ‘Merica… its not, and will never be safe at all times. If the IOC only picked places that were absolutely safe …. there would be no Olympics.

      • killerpgh - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        Plus the fact that the 96 summer Olympic’s were held in Atlanta and had a bomb go off. Pretty sure it “only” killed 1 or 2 people but injuried 100+.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Even ignoring the possibility of terrorism and Russia’s unfortunate political situations, putting the Winter Olympics in a warm weather resort known for mild winters was of dubious brilliance in the first place.

  5. dropthepuckeh - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Ovechkin telling everyone that it won’t be dangerous should be enough assurance for all of the players. Besides, Putin said the same thing. Yikes.

  6. lonespeed - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    The real reason he’s not taking her…she’ll be pulling for team USA.

  7. sjsharks66 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    “Awarding Russia the Olympics was the worst Olympic decision ever.” Well…. The Nazi’s were given an Olympic games as well. I see what you are saying though.

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

      Germany had the Olympics in 1936 – before they raped and pillaged the rest of Europe beginning with the invasion of Poland in 1939.

      You made a good point, though. Thumbs up.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 22, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      The IOC awarded Germany the ’36 Games in 1931, before Hitler came to power.

      • stakex - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Shhhhh…. don’t educate this generation. The internet won’t be as fun if you do that.

  8. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Note to Halford: “competitive skier that represented Canada”
    For people (and named pets), we say “who”.
    For things, we say “that”.

  9. jessejames182 - Jan 22, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Just thinking out loud, is the winter olympics know for also having those crazy olympic sex parties with the athletes afterwards like the summer ones are? Because that raises suspicions with me as well rater than risk of blowing up.

  10. penguins87and71 - Jan 22, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    I’m scared as HELL of Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin, Jokinen, Matta, Orpik, and Martin all going over to Sochi. I just pray that they all will be safe over there as well as the other NHL players that are going over there.

    • stakex - Jan 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      They’ll be fine. Security where the athletes will be is really good… it would be nearly impossible for an attacker to get in there. If anything happens, it will likely be in the area surrounding the Olympics themselves. Attacks on spectator transportation outside the security zone for example.

  11. hosewater2 - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    How priceless would the Russian reaction be if a prominent nation pulled out over security concerns?

  12. muckleflugga - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    take a pill wankers …

    the cia and the fbi and the nsa and homeland security and the dallas police and the boston police and barack obama’s secret service and stephen harper’s bodyguards are not involved in sochi security so everyone’s safe …

    spare us the histrionics

  13. savior72 - Jan 22, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Putin will “allow” a terrorist attack on the Olympics in order to give him a world backed all-out assault on the terrorist in his country, he might even let the U.S. Help him out.

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      I’m an optimist with an underlying streak of cynicism, savior. It wouldn’t surprise me if you are correct.

  14. jeffr85392 - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    patthehockeyfan, exactly. The situations in Georgia and Chechnya (sp?) are worrisome.

  15. cspsrbums - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Oh wait we didn’t have the Olympic bombing in Atlanta

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