As Russian forces hunt for a "black widow" suicide bomber who may have infiltrated Sochi, the mounting threats of a terrorist attack at the games has weighed heavily on the minds of would-be spectators.
An alert issued by the U.S. State Department ahead of the games noted a recent string of suicide bombings in Volgograd, Russia, a transportation hub to the northeast resort city of Sochi. It also cited the region's decade-plus-long struggle against Islamic terrorism, which has included bombings at airports, hotels, entertainment venues and markets among others.
Here's how some Olympics "super fans," an athlete's family and an adventuresome 20-something decided whether to make the trip to Sochi. Their decisions may surprise you.
|The Olympics Super Fans|
Three generations of the Brandt family, including grandparents Chuck and Judi, their son Martin, his wife, Jessica, and their children Shelby, 9, Luke, 7, and Jake, 4, plan to make the trip to Sochi next month to cheer on Team USA.
For the Brandts, of Tucson, Ariz., attending the Olympics is a family tradition that dates back to the 1964 summer games in Tokyo.
"We've been planning this for a year and a half and until recently [security] wasn't really an issue," Chuck said. "We told [Martin, Jessica and the kids] that if they decide not to go, we understand, but at this point I think everyone is still on board."
Jessica Brandt, whose first time attending the Olympics was the 1996 Atlanta games, marred by the bombing, said she has questioned whether she should bring her children to Sochi.
"I see the headlines and it's scary. I just talked to a friend who expressed concern, asking 'Are you sure you want to take your kids?'" Jessica said. "But' I'm not going to let that fear keep us from going."
|The Athlete's Parents|
The parents of an American Olympian will be watching their son compete from their living room couches rather than the Olympic stadium in Sochi, after he said he feared for their safety in the southern Russian city.
Speed skating star Tucker Fredricks' parents said they are honoring their son's request that they stay home due to his concerns about the "overall security" of the event and the possibility of a terrorist attack.
"He wanted us to stay home so he wouldn't have to worry about it," Shawn Fredricks, the athlete's mother, told ABC News. "It's totally tough."
Dan Fredricks said it will be "bittersweet" not being able to watch his son compete.
"We want to go there to support him, but we understand that he has to concentrate on the race. So we said, 'OK, we'll stay home and watch it on TV.'"
|The First Timer|
For Stephen Prince, the opportunity to attend the winter Olympics was too good to miss.
"I hosted a person in Miami last year and he is from Sochi. So, in return I'm staying for free with his family right in Sochi for the five days I'm there," Prince, 25, told ABCNews.com in an email from St. Petersburg, Russia.
Prince said he plans to take an overnight train and arrive in Sochi on Feb. 5.
"I've read about all the precautions the Russian government is taking and it pretty much sounds like the area around Sochi is going to be a fortress," he said.
"I have the philosophy that you can't live your life in fear, otherwise you'll never do anything."