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16 June 2012

Jumping through Hoops

When tickets for the London 2012 Olympics first went on sale last year, I didn't bother trying to apply. The application system sounded too complicated and I didn't want to commit so far in advance. Nor did I jump on the band-wagon at most of the other ticket opportunities, but I finally caved a few weeks ago. I'm not exactly a huge sports fan, to say the least, but I really enjoy watching gymnastics, and seeing some athletics in the Olympic Stadium or swimming in the aquatics centre would also have been fun. The booking system didn't seem to have improved: you pick a sport, look at all of the available sessions and prices and then click on the 'search' button. If the sport is athletics or swimming and the sessions you want are under £50, you will then wait about 10 minutes before being told there are no available tickets. You can search for multiple sessions at once but if by some miracle they all turn out to be available, you have to buy all of them or none.

In the end, I gave up on swimming and athletics and moved over to the far less popular (non-beach) volleyball. I used to play volleyball at Cambridge and even reached the lofty heights of the university second women's team. It's been a while since I've played but I thought it would be a fun event to watch, even if I do have to trek out to Earls Court. Plus, my ticket was only £30--roughly the price of two central London cinema tickets.

Olympics tickets pack

I usually get post that requires a signature and/or won't fit through my letterbox delivered to my office, but for the Olympics tickets, your delivery address must match your billing address. I had resigned myself to having to make the trip to my Royal Mail delivery centre to collect the tickets but then this morning, I got a text saying they were on their way. The post normally comes between 11 and 12 on Saturdays, so I went for an early run. Sure enough, soon after my return the postman came and I signed for my tickets. Nice job, Olympics people, for delivering the tickets on a day when people are more likely to be at home! Also included in the pack is a one-day travelcard, which I can use to get free travel on the day of the event; this makes me resent paying a £6 delivery charge slightly less.

I'm still not massively excited about the Olympics--it's going to be a huge hassle for those of us who live and work in zone one--but now I feel that at least I'll get to enjoy at least part of the experience.

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