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Michael Phelps Says Mom Nervous About Travel to Sochi Olympics

Some Winter Olympic athletes are telling their families to stay home after concerns about security threats at the Sochi Games have been raised.

Maryland native Michael Phelps. File|Patch
Maryland native Michael Phelps. File|Patch

As jitters continue about security at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, at least two American athletes have publicly said they want their families to stay home.

A series of suicide bombings in southern Russia, likely set off by Chechen rebels who have previously threatened the Games, have raised concerns about the potential for a terrorist attack either in or around Sochi, reportsUSA Today. Reports surfaced this week that authorities are looking for three potential "Black Widow" suicide bombers, including one who may have slipped into Sochi before heavy security measures were put in place.

Hockey stars Ryan Sutor and Zach Parise are heading to Sochi to compete for Team USA, but they’ve asked their families to stay home, reports CBS Baltimore.

It’s a feeling that Towson native and Olympic medalist Michael Phelps -- the winningest and most decorated athlete in Olympic history – says he understands.

“You know, we’re there to represent our country,” Phelps told CBS, but he said he knows Sochi may present a different challenge.

“When I was talking to my mother the other night, she was saying how nervous she was to go over because she didn’t know what was going to happen,” Phelps said. 

Concerns were first raised among international travelers after last month's terrorist attacks in Volgograd, Russia, a transit hub 400 miles way from Sochi, reports CNN. Then, a U.S. State Department travel alert earlier this month upped the ante.

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