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The games

Today I applied for Olympic tickets. The applications close at the end of today, British time. The way it works is that you apply for whatever events you want, and say how much you’re willing to pay. There are five price bands; the higher the band you go for, the more chance you have of getting tickets. But everyone has some sort of a chance. It’s a lottery!

Now, you might not have any money in the world or you might hate sport. If you’re not in those categories though, I would encourage you to at least apply for one tiny little event.

It’s quite easy to be cynical about the Olympics because (a) its organisation is rife with corruption; (b) we are collectively paying for it, especially if ‘we’ live in London; (c) a lot of the sports are pretty small fry; (d) you can be cynical about anything if you try hard enough.

BUT the thing is, the Olympics will only occur once in our country in your entire lifetime, unless you are one of these people who live long enough to get on the news. Even if you are not a big sports fan, it is therefore to be treated as – at the very least – quite a curiosity, like a total eclipse or (say) a royal wedding or something. It will be one of the events which our generation remembers. Your kids/grandkids/some random kids you meet in 2050 for some reason will be at least vaguely interested in it. So it is worth trying to engage with it in some way.

Also, even if you feel that it’s a stupid waste of money – which is a separate conversation – it’s kind of too late to stop it. It is happening, the money will get spent. So we kind of have to embrace it or spend the summer of 2012 being pissed off. I vote we just embrace it. Nearer the time I will be devoting aspects of the blog to it, naturally. But for now: yep. Get on board. That’s my verdict. It’s too late to stop them building a lot of the motorways that scar our countryside, too, so what are you going to do? Not drive on them?

If you DO like sport, you don’t need persuading of this. But many of you don’t. So I guess my message is: this isn’t just about sport, like the World Cup for example. It is a huge cultural and historic happening. Maybe you can at least watch the table tennis or something. And anyway there are things like sailing and cycling and so on which appeal to people who wouldn’t normally count themselves as out-and-out ‘sporty’. So go to something. Or, I don’t know, just tune in to the Opening Ceremony. Or at least try not to shoot anyone who comes over for it. Thanks.

Of course, having said all this, if you do apply for tickets and get them ahead of me, I hate you.

19 Responses

  1. What if you actively detest sport and hate having it stuffed down your throat all the time?

  2. Kathryn says:

    I completely forgot to apply for tickets, so thanks for the reminder. My brother and I have been planning to go to all the ‘little’ sports, like handball and judo and archery, because it’s just as much fun to go and watch even if you don’t know the sport and have to try to figure out the rules as it happens.

  3. Megan says:

    The Olympics are out of my price range. If I go to any sporting events on that side of the pond next year, it’ll be Euro 2012, because I have at least one place to stay in Poland. (Of course, I haven’t applied for tickets yet, so who knows if I will be able to go to that either.)

  4. sarahthemonkey2 says:

    Not a big sports fan and even if I were interested in the olympics the transport and accomadation would cost too much.

    As long as they’re alternative on television or I’ll catch up on my dvd collection. Let those who enjoy it, enjoy and the rest we’ll find something else to do even if we are all paying a little towards it.

    Oh SFX has a very small but quite good interview with Mark Watson, wasn’t expecting it. Not sure about Lost but Doctor Who is a fantastic show

  5. Halfway through the ticket prices / events schedule I gave up, but considering in the world I don’t even have £20, which was the cheapest price I saw, I shall have to give it a miss – and that’s before even considering the practicalities.

    For those that go, I hope they enjoy it though :)

  6. Anji says:

    I’m quite enjoying ignoring all sport at the moment – in 2 months I’ve not had to listen to football talk or pretend to be interested in some other sport. Being single has it’s perks!
    I will get back into sport, just on my terms and way after the closing for Olympic tickets! But enjoy if you get tickets – I’m all for once in a lifetime things, coz life is short and things that are enjoyable should be treasured and made the most of!

    Rant over, having a bit of an emotional day – stupid emotions. I’d happily pass them off to the highest bidder!

  7. alot of rachels says:

    my brother hates sport but really wants to go to the archery so yeah something for everything

    I applied a while a go and now feeling I should have applied to more, I just really really really want to go to something especially if it’s at the stadium/velodrome/aquatics centre

  8. Lydia says:

    I can’t get into the olympics. The whole thing annoys me so much. People trafficking goes up loads wherever it’s on. And the organisation that is trying to help is likely to lose it’s funding. Yes, I did read Cosmo this month. (Although if I’m honest it annoyed me before, just now I have more of a valid argument as to why).

    But I know in being all I HATE IT I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT I am in the minority. And I am sure there are things I like that piss people off. I shall be quietly disdainful. (in other words, how I am all the time about most things).

  9. Sarah says:

    Argh I have forgotten my password and they have not sent me the email with new details. I wish I had sorted it earlier now rather than trying (unsuccessfully) to get my family to come with me.

  10. LisaD says:

    I love the Olympics! Especially the summer Olympics as the contain lots of different things (unlike the winter games which have a couple of proper sports and lot and lots of events that are basically several different ways to say “slide down a mountain quickly.” Still impressive feats but not fun to watch on TV.) I’m still a bit sad that Chicago lost the next bid. It’s a long flight from here but not as long a flight as London. Still I’m glad it’s in England as the time difference is just about perfect for me; no setting the alarm for 4 am this year!

  11. Heather Jones says:

    Well I wasn’t going to apply for any, being a very unsporty person, and someone who – living in London – tends to NOT do any of the big London events – but you talked me round! Oddly, my sports-mad husband is being all aloof and refusnik about it, so I’ve gone ahead and just applied for the only sport that kinda floats my own boat – trampolining. I did trampolining as a teenager, and even competed in an Under 14 competition representing Northern Ireland against Scotland (although I didn’t do very well to be honest, but it was still quite a thing)

    Anyway, I’ve applied for 2 of the cheapest tickets for both the women’s and the men’s events, (in the hope I can avoid being a nobby no-mates and persuade one of my sons, or a friend, to come along with me) – IF, that is, I even get allocated any tickets.

    But as someone once said – ‘you gotta be in it to win it’. So thank you, Mark: you persuasive devil you.

  12. Sarah says:

    And relax….

    Submitted my applications, modern pentahalon at Greenwich, and opening/closing ceremonies. I am not holding out any hope for opening/closing but you never know!

  13. Dan says:

    I’d literally just applied for table tennis tickets before reading this, table tennis being one of very few sports I enjoy. But yes, well said

  14. Ally says:

    I can still remember when the Olympics was in Sydney. It was brilliant. Everyone in London should try and get tickets!

  15. Misha says:

    I wanted to apply for tickets, but I have no money of any kind and a whole lot of other financial stresses on me. This is what telly was made for. I’ll watch the horses on there. And probably any other shit thats on if the night where I stayed up til 6am watching the winter olympics is anything to go by.

  16. Rachael says:

    I have a soft spot for table tennis, I always thought that it could be my sport, if I practiced for a few hours everyday and cared enough. But I can sometimes hit the ball which is more than I manage in other sports.

  17. Carl says:

    I’ve applied for table tennis!!… Along with many others that may result in me being hungry and homeless x

  18. Anna Lowman says:

    Man, I just can’t be cynical about the Olympics. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I love how when you start the application process you think “oh, I’ll be happy to see anything!” but by the end you just think “I NEED TO SEE BOLT.” Can’t wait.

  19. Aislinn says:

    I have to disagree with the whole ‘it’ll only be in your country once in your lifetime, and so you should go’ thing. Knowing that something you don’t particularly enjoy isn’t going to happen again shouldn’t change your opinion of how much you may enjoy it.

    The way I see it is a bit like this: When it was announced that the most recent series of Big Brother would be the last, all my friends, who had gradually tuned out of the show over the years, tuned in again for the duration of the final series. If they didn’t know it was the last series, they wouldn’t have bothered watching it, so I’m not sure why they did. I just don’t understand the whole ‘It’s the last chance you’ll get!’ thing. Big deal. I wouldn’t go to the Olympics if it happened in London every four years and I’m not going to go just because it’s a one off.

    I’m indifferent to sport of almost all kinds, but watching it bores me. The idea of spending a lot of money to go and see it live, when I could be sat in a park or in my room or at a comedy show, is not a thought I enjoy.

    Excuse me for sounding like a grump.

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