The International Olympic Committee (IOC) make clear in guidance to host cities that it is their responsibility to provide a safe environment for the competitors, officials and dignitaries attending the Olympics and Paralympics, while ensuring that such securitization does not get in the way of the sporting activities or spirit of the Games. As Thompson (1999, p. 106) observed, ‘the IOC has made clear that the Olympics are an international sporting event, not an international security event, and while Olympic security must be comprehensive it must also be unobtrusive’. However, since 2001, given the escalation and changing nature of the terrorist threat ‘securing’ the Olympics is increasingly difficult and costly to achieve (Coaffee and Murakami Wood, 2006). Certainly if the risk of terrorism remains at its present critical level, there is the possibility of seeing core notions of Olympic spectacle replaced by dystopian images of ‘cities under siege’ as organizers and security personnel attempt to deliver an Olympics, in maximum safety and with minimum disruption to the schedule.