For all the people flocking to London to fill thousands of seats in Olympics venues across the United Kingdom, there are also many visiting London for the Olympics with no tickets at all.
I happen to be one of the latter, visiting London for the duration of the Games with no prepaid ticket to a game in hand.
With that ticket, I was given the opportunity to wait in line at the box offices for recycled tickets to games. With one ticket, people were given access to two games. Many times they would stay for the first game then leave. Why someone would skip out on seeing another Olympic game confuses me, but they do.
Walking through the park I came across the box office for the basketball arena. After queuing around as the Brits do, within an hour I was in the front of the line receiving basketball tickets to a USA women’s basketball game for only five pounds.
Walking into the basketball arena, decked out in London 2012’s bright pink, was equivalent to the first time I walked into Disney World and saw Cinderella’s castle.
The whole experience was too overwhelming to fully process in that moment, but the feeling was one of pure excitement in being one of the few (there were a lot of empty seats) -- or rather one of the hundreds of thousands, depending how you look at it -- who were able to see an Olympic event.
My run of good luck continued when I was walked through the park after basketball. The words “I wish we had someone to give these field hockey tickets to,” caught my ear. And by another stroke of good luck, the kind volunteers let me enter, even though the game had already begun.
Without planning years in advance, and without putting my name into the black abyss of the Olympic ticket lottery system, I was able to see two separate events--and for a total of 15 pounds.