British chiefs take action amid growing fears as the Games in South Korea take place near the Korean Demilitarized Zone
TEAM GB have evacuation plans for the Winter Olympics in the event of rising tensions between nuclear states US and North Korea.
The 23rd Winter Games will take place in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea – which is 65km (40m) from the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
The British Olympic Association have contingency protocols if the political situation escalates during the Games with world leaders President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “The South Koreans have lived with this for 60 years and tensions have gone up and down. Obviously, there seems a higher level this time.
“We are working on all possible contingency plans. The only one you have in the situation of an extreme event is evacuation.
“We will go there with a clearly laid out evacuation plan if it is necessary. But I don’t think it will be.
“The health and welfare of the delegation is our No 1 priority. We will do everything possible around the issue.”
Around 60 athletes are expected to qualify for the next Winter Olympics, aiming to better the medal haul of four from Sochi in 2014.
Sweeney is confident that the South Korean city will be a “safe and secure” experience for all their competitors.
He said: “I lost a lot more sleep going to Rio than Pyeongchang.
“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.
“South Korea, as a country, is really safe and secure, probably one of the safest you can go into.
“Clearly there is an issue around the escalation of tensions between North and South Korea and the Americans. But we talk to the Foreign Office and the embassy in Korea on a weekly basis.”
The BOA have called on the IOC to decide by Christmas if Russian athletes are permitted to compete next year following accusations of state-sponsored doping.
The British bobsleigh team, piloted by retired John Jackson, are still waiting to discover if they will receive a backdated 2014 Olympic bronze medal after allegations of doping by Russian teams.
Team GB will also appointed a neutral welfare officer to offer support for its athletes in light of bullying and discrimination claims made against cycling, canoeing and bobsleigh governing bodies.