We are a mere seventeen months away from the Olympics being in London, and you know what that means?
It’s time for the people living near the Olympics to apply for the ability to buy tickets to the events.
There are issues with the system that we are trying very hard to ignore, because they are not what we wish to talk about today. For instance, only Visa customers are allowed to buy tickets to the Olympics. No Visa? Who cares how many of your tax dollars are going into the event, you are not allowed to be overcharged to watch it!
See? We have digressed already.
What we intend to discuss today is the events to which we intend to apply.
The determining factor
The key to enjoying a sporting event is to care about the outcome. If you are to watch something, and not care about the outcome, either you need to care deeply about the sport, or it needs to be spectacular. Preferably both.
Of course, the Olympics have built-in caring — I just need to look for the person wearing the maple leaf, and cheer for them. But it is easier when there is some sort of a connection to the athletes. This is why the American basketball and Canadian hockey teams enjoy so much popularity. The individuals on those teams are household names.
So while there are some events that we know and care deeply about, and can watch without caring about the outcome (hello, fencing), and others which provide eye candy (beach volleyball) or we expect are spectacular (we cannot help but think that live gymnastics will be breathtaking in person), nothing beats the emotional thrill of feeling that the outcome matters. Even moreso when the outcome is not in doubt.
With that in mind, our choices for our ballot are made:
- Men’s Triathlon: A fellow we played hockey with in our childhood happens to be a world class triathlete. He has two Olympic medals, currently, and it will be a blast to cheer him towards a second Olympic championship — or even just to a bronze medal, to complete his collection.
- Women’ Foil (fencing): It seems unlikely that I will have any clubmates — past or present — fencing in any other fencing discipline, but there is a good chance that one or two of my training partners will be fencing in women’s foil. This lands behind triathlon, as there is some competition for the spots on the team, and the event is dominated by the Italians — it would be a huge upset should Britain pick up an Olympic medal in the event.
- Men’s Foil (fencing): No clubmates here — perhaps even no Canadians — but Britain has a strong men’s foil team, and it seems likely that some of the faces on it will be people that I face in tournaments from time to time. It could be exciting.
Other fencing events, gymnastics and basketball get honourable mentions, in that order. I know the big names in fencing, and am familiar with the sport, as well as knowing the smaller names and faces from Britain and Canada. I want to see how incredible the gymnastic events are when seen in person. And there is a degree of familiarity with the names and faces in the basketball event.
Will I win the right to put too much money on my Visa card, though?
That’s a different story altogether.