Olympian Effort

In case you didn’t know, the Olympics will be held in London in 2012.  A few days ago the ticket website opened up for applications.  The tickets aren’t being allocated on a first come first served basis; so long as you apply by 26 April you have as much chance of getting tickets as the next man, allegedly.  It makes sense, avoids panic and overload on the site, at least until the deadline approaches, and gives us all a moment to think.

I live in London, so I know I should take an interest in it.

First of all I’ve had to overcome my disappointment that the Games weren’t awarded to Paris, which from my perspective would have been the perfect location – near enough to visit, but far enough away in a different country so I wouldn’t be paying for them for the rest of my life.

And then secondly I’ve quelled my irritation that you can only buy tickets using a Visa card, which hitherto I didn’t  have.  I’ve swallowed my bile today and applied for one.  I hope ‘London 2012’ were paid handsomely by Visa for the monopoly.

So equipped with an online ‘olympic ticket account’ I’ve spent hours checking out the various options.

The big question is what to apply for.  I know I am not alone in this quandary.  Everyone I’ve spoken to has expressed broadly the same question.

Should I apply only for the things I’d actually like to see, or should I, based on the reasonable assumption that everything I really want to see will be massively oversubscribed, apply for lots of things, to increase my chances of actually getting to see something; to participate in what Lord Coe keeps telling us is a once in a lifetime opportunity? And by making multiple applications, will I not be contributing to the general appearance of everything being over subscribed, when all I really want to see is a couple of things to be able to say I was a part of this great white elephant jamboree.

But if I make multiple applications, I’ve got to be confident on my ‘I stand as much chance of getting a ticket for that as winning the Lottery’ theory, otherwise I’ll end up with hundreds of pounds worth of tickets that, in all honesty, I don’t really want.

Consider these factors:  I think I’d quite like to see some cycling; the British team did really well in Beijing at the last Olympics, so chances are they’re still pretty good; a sport in which there are likely to be British medal winners can expect to attract big crowds; the velodrome has 700 seats; there are 9 sessions of competition.

Should I apply for tickets in all the sessions? Apply for expensive seats (£325 each for some, a bargain compared with the most expensive athletics sessions at £725 or the closing ceremony at over £1000), or cheap ones (either £20 or £50)?  The two worst possible outcomes are to get no allocation or be awarded the expensive seats in all of them.  Which is more likely?  Is either of them more likely than just getting some for one session which is, frankly, my sole objective?

How am I even going to get there?  At the moment it is an extremely awkward journey from my home in north London to the Statford Olympic Park by public transport.  I reassured myself that briefly that when they finish the train line that is currently under construction it should be much easier.  Part of the ‘Legacy’ argument for hosting the Games was the improvement in public transport that would be achieved, after all.

And then I read the travel instructions to the venue for the shooting competition which is the Royal Artillery Barracks in Greenwich; they are suggesting that during the Games we allow 2 hours  to get there from Central London.  Now it’s not a journey with which I am that familiar, but that sounds at least 3 times longer than it takes now.  Journeys that are tricky now in ‘peacetime’, are only going to get worse once competition commences.

So I’ve looked at events in Central London, and I’m hoping I’ll get something for the Archery at Lords Cricket Ground; on a nice sunny afternoon that should do just the trick.  Turns out, when I said this to a couple of my friends they had already had exactly the same thought.  Archery may never have been so popular.

There’s always the Beach Volleyball in Horse Guards Parade of course……

I’m still thinking about my application, but as it stands in draft in my online account, I’ve £900 on the tally.  Getting them all would be disaster.

Any ideas?

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  1. Trevor

     /  March 26, 2011

    I think you’re very brave. All I want are two airline tickets out of the country on the morning the games start.


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