I am thrilled, and very relieved, to be in London and finally have my Olympic tickets in my possession. Many people have asked me how I managed to get these tickets. It has been a long process that has brought excitement as well as stress.
A company called CoSport handled ticketing for the United States, as well as a number of other countries. Ticket applications were originally due in April 2011. On the application, which was submitted online after creating an account with the company, I was able to indicate which events I wanted to attend, as well as what price level I wanted to pay for tickets. Information from the company said that tickets would be allotted by a lottery system, and if tickets were not available in the requested price level, the customer may receive tickets at a lower price (but not higher). The results of my application were… zilch. I received NO tickets after the application period. I was frustrated to say the least!
CoSport presented a "second-chance opportunity" for anyone who had already created an account with them, to be held in June 2011. Long story short, I was able to get tickets for a variety of events. While this was very exciting, it did mean that a great deal of planning was now necessary to put together an affordable trip for London 2012 – not that I'm complaining!
CoSport had indicated that tickets would be shipped via Federal Express around June 30, 2012. Since I booked my flight to leave Boston on July 11, I thought I'd safely have my tickets in hand before I left. Alas, the company was delayed in shipping, which made me very worried that they'd arrive after I'd already left home. The possibility of needing someone to sign for and ship the tickets to me in the UK caused a great deal of stress as I prepared to leave. In the end, the company offered the option to cancel shipping and pick up the tickets at a Will Call office in London.
I arrived in London Tuesday afternoon, and made my way to Paddington Gardens and an office at the City of Westminster College. I showed my receipt and my passport, and finally, the tickets were in my hands! Along with each tickets is a one-day travelcard for London public transport, as spectators are encouraged to use public transportation to get to their events. I'll be able to do so for all of mine, with the exception of rowing, which is outside the city. Because I need to be there very early, in addition to using London transport, I'll have to book a train ticket for part of the journey.
I'm thrilled to be in London and cannot wait to get to my first event. London is a very expensive city, and originally I did not think I'd be able to afford to stay here, booking a hotel about a half hour's train journey away. I fortunately remembered the option of staying in a university residence hall, which is quite reasonable, and so I am staying at Pembridge Hall in Notting Hill, a great neighborhood that is very convenient for most of my events.
Let the games begin! First stop, Beach Volleyball at Horseguards Parade Wednesday afternoon!