One of the benefits of moving back to the UK is that we will be around for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. In fact, I actually could not conceive of being anywhere else during that time, sad as that may be.
Therefore I’ve applied for a bunch of tickets for various events. The way the system works is that you can apply for as much as you want (well, up to a maximum of 45 sessions) but are not guaranteed anything. Once the application period closes (April 26th 2011) any over-subscribed sessions will have a random selection process applied to decide who gets what.
There are various strategies to take to try and maximise your own outcome, depending on what approach you take. Personally, I want to see some of the sports I have real interest in (Swimming, Cycling especially) more than just going to a random event here and there because they may be lower in popularity. I also focussed primarily on sports in the Olympic Park given that entry to the park itself will be pretty good (I fully expect a lot of “Henman Hill” type atmosphere) To that end, I don’t expect to get all of the stuff I’ve applied for, which is a good thing given the total bill in that case would be touching £3,000!
So, for the record, here’s what I’ve applied for. I’ll report back in May/June with details of what the outcome is.
Friday 27th July
19:30 – 22:30 – Opening Ceremony x 4 @ £150 – Had to be done. Very low expectation here. Especially as I went for four tickets and they will only allocate you the amount requested, not less, should it go to ballot which this obviously will.
Saturday 28th July
10:00 – 13:00 – Swimming x 4 @ £28 – First swimming session of the games. Won’t be any Michael Phelps in the 400m Individual Medley but maybe he will try the 400m Freestyle instead (unlike Ian Thorpe, should he be selected). Should see Rebecca Adlington in the Women’s 400m Free.
14:30 – 18:30 – Women’s Basketball x 4 @ £20-35 – One of Lana’s choices, but filler material for me. Fun sport to watch however.
19:30 – 21:35 – Swimming x 4 @ £50-95 – First swimming medal session seeing four finals: Men’s 400m Free, Men’s/Women’s 400m IM, Women’s 4×100 Free relay
Backup plan for the day is to instead go and watch some of the Men’s Cycling Road Race which is a free event. However the only sensible place to watch would be Box Hill, and it is going to be insanely busy. Road Racing is always best on the telly.
Sunday 29th July
May go and watch the Women’s Cycling RR, but it’s shorter and there’s less laps of Box Hill so it will be a blink and miss affair at a given point. Still, there should be a good chance of a British medal or two.
Wednesday 1st August
Work day, but if possible would love to head down to Hampton Court to see both Men’s and Women’s Cycling Time Trials. Another free event.
Saturday 4th August
10:00 – 11:30 – Track Cycling x 1 @ £65 – A short session including the Men’s Omnium flying lap and early stages of the Men’s Individual Sprint. In general it’s a bit too early to tie down who is going to do what in the British track teams, especially with the new rule about there being only one place for each nation per event, but Sir Chris Hoy or Jason Kenny should be in the sprint, with Ed Clancy likely in the Omnium.
10:30 – 14:15 – Equestrian – Jumping x 2 @ £28 – One for Lana and my mum in Greenwich Park.
16:00 – 18:40 – Track Cycling x 3 @ £50 – Medal session for the Women’s Team Pursuit which should see Wendy Houvenaghel +2 bringing home a medal hopefully. This is an event that the British team is particularly strong in, winning gold in the World Championships earlier this year. Competition for the three spots should be fierce with Rebecca Romano, Sarah Storey, Laura Trott and Lizzie Armistead plus more in the frame. Other disciplines in the session include the Men’s Omnium elimination (devil) race which is an amazing spectacle as one rider gets eliminated every second lap, and more Men’s Sprint action. All in all this should be a cracking session.
18:50 – 22:05 – Athletics x 3 @ £95-150 – Not the hugest Athletics fan, but a medal session in the Olympic Stadium has to be worth a punt. The highlight of the night is the conclusion of the Women’s Heptathlon so hopefully medal action of the right kind for Jessica Ennis! There is also the small matter of the Women’s 100m final! Other medal finals are the Men’s/Women’s 10,000m, Men’s Long Jump and 20k walk (woo hoo!) Men’s Shot Put and Women’s Discus.
Sunday 5th August
10:00 – 11:25 – Track Cycling x1 @ £65 – Men’s Omnium Individual Pursuit and Women’s Sprint qualifying.
16:00 – 19:05 – Track Cycling x1 @ £95-150 – Medal Session for the conclusion of the Men’s Omnium with the final 15k scratch and 1k TT events. Men’s and Women’s Spring repercharges, 1/4 finals and various other pre-finals. Should see Hoy and Pendleton in action.
Monday 6th August
16:00 – 19:05 – Track Cycling x1 @ £95-150 – Medal Session for the Men’s Sprint. Hopefully with British interest in the final stages (Hoy or Kenny) and surely the awesome Frenchman Gregory Bauge. Start of the Women’s Omnium and more Women’s Sprint.
Monday 7th August
16:00 – 18:30 – Track Cycling x1 @ £150-225 – Final track session of the games with the Men’s Keirin up for grabs (surely Hoy will contest this) final events of the Women’s Omnium and also the finals of the Women’s Sprint (Pendleton)
Saturday 11th August
13:30 – 16:05 – Rhythmic Gymnastics x2 @ £125 – Women’s Individual all round final. One for Lana. Held at Wembley Arena.
Sunday 12th August
14:30 – 17:40 – Water Polo x2 @ £65 – Men’s final. Interesting sport that I’ve played before. Will be a good watch. However there is an ulterior motive at play here. It’s on the final day, in the Olympic Park. I don’t want to pay to see the closing ceremony itself, but I reckon there will be a pretty fantastic fireworks display to end things off, as well as just being around the park to soak up the atmosphere.