There’s no doubt that Olympic ticket controversy will continue to reign for some time. I too am one of the heartbroken Londoners who will be bankrolling the games but without tickets. Frankly I don’t understand why there wasn’t a leveling process across events rather than balloting only at event level. It’s too late to change what’s already been, so I’ve set about coming up with a solution which will provide more ticketing opportunities without exponentially increasing the cost of the games.
The solution seems so obvious: COMBINE EVENTS.
After both the judo and fencing competitions, why not have the non-medaling athletes compete against each other? The spectacle would be great, it would use the same athletes (so no additional expense or training) and give non-medaling athletes another chance at glory. Also, disappointed ticket lottery losers could get to see two events with one ticket.
There are no doubt countless combinations of events which could be considered, here are some that I came up with:
- Judo v fencing – Competing man to man in a mixed combat martial art.
- Taekwondo v javelin – The javelin athletes have one chance to impale their competitors, taekwondo athletes need to fend off one inbound javelin.
- Archery v synchronised swimming – Archers have to time their firing to try and hit synchronised swimmers when they surface during routines.
- Combat shooting v steeple chase – Moving targets make the shooting much more challenging, being shot at makes athletes far more focused.
- Hammer throw v 400m – Hammer throw athletes take a few seconds to get up to pace, just enough time to give the runners a head start.
- MTB v show jumping – Time for a real race.
The same approach could be used for the Winter Olympics. Biathlon (shooting) can be combined with most disciplines. Speed skating v. curling.
It’ll be a revolution, the biggest innovation since Fosbury turned the high-jumping world upside down.
Note: If you’re interested in the more serious side of Olympic ticketing, James Pearce (BBC reporter) has been a breath of fresh air, sharing interesting and insightful information via Twitter [@pearcesport].