Wednesday, December 23, 2009

our olympic experience - continued

A few months ago, I blogged about the ticket lottery. Our family requested tickets to a number of Olympic events. A random draw was held, and we ended up being allowed to purchase 2 tickets to a men's preliminary round ice hockey game. Alex and Andrew will go to see that one together.

Now that the Games are almost here, things are beginning to happen. Of course, we have received Olympic emails about once a week through the year, conveying updates about developments. We have been kept well-informed. We were curious to know if we'd be able to take in any additional Olympic events, and we jumped at the chance to see a figure skating practice session. The day the tickets went on sale, I logged onto the internet and was promptly bounced to the "virtual waiting" room. About 20 minutes later I was allowed to buy two tickets to see the practice session for women's ice dance. Fiona and I will go see that.

In the meantime, I noticed that there are tickets still available for a few events. Men's and women's preliminary ice hockey and some curling matches still have seats up for grabs. I opted for 4 tickets to a medal ceremony so our whole family can get to one event together. Besides the ceremony, the rock band Hedley will be playing, so it should be a fun time whatever happens. There are also tons of Paralympic tickets still available. If we have great time at the Olympics, we'll go get some of these and have some more fun.

Last week, we received an email saying our hockey tickets were being shipped, then Purolator visited while we were at work. Then on Saturday, we went to the Purolator store near our home. Lots of people were there, also picking up tickets, and the lineup extended out the door. But there were plenty of people working, and we had our ticket package in hand within about 10 minutes of arrival.

When we got home, we unpacked the tickets and were surprised to find they are in two different sections of Canada Hockey Place (otherwise known as GM Place). I looked for a seating diagram, and saw that the sections were adjacent, and the row number was the same, but the seat numbers were 10 and 108, which did not sound promising. I emailed the customer care people at 2010 ticketing, and within a couple of hours I had an email back from a man named Michael, who had checked and verified that the seats are together. He explained to me how I could view the actual seat locations using the website and our ticketing account. I checked, and sure enough, seat 108 is right beside seat 10, so Alex and Andy will watch together.

We didn't have a lot of money to spend on any of these events, so we're in the cheap seats for low profile activities. If we had a million dollars, we could go deluxe and buy speed skating and opening ceremony tickets using the ticket auction that is running right now at the 2010 ticketing website. I think we'll stick with what we've got. Fi will perform in the closing ceremonies, and we'll catch her on TV. Alex says some of the big events will be simulcast at the movie theatre where he works. If this is the case for closing ceremonies, I'll go to the movie theatre to see that on the big screen.

So that's our Olympic experience so far. Our general impression is that most people can go to the Olympics if they are fortunate enough to have moderate incomes, a credit card, and internet access, and if they don't mind missing the big events and opting just to be there to be part of the overall experience. It's nice that local teens and young adults will be part of the opening and closing ceremonies, and we know a lot of people who will be volunteering at the Games. So far so good.

I'm hoping that our worst worries about treatment of marginalized citizens, and the right to freedom of expression will not be realised. I'm hoping that by the end of February we'll be able to say that the Olympics were generally a good thing.

I'll keep you posted as our Olympic experience rolls out - the good, the bad and the unexpected.

question: are you going to the Games?

mompoet - watching and waiting

1 comment:

Threads and Flowers said...

Hi Sue I bought tickets over 2 years in the lottery and requested different events. I ended up with Gold Pairs Finals and Ice Dancing finals both at PNE. Feb 15 and Feb 21st. The package that came was very impressive. I stood in the line up too to get them early last Saturday... Can't wait. My husband doesn't want to go so I will take daughter Krista and a friend probably....we'll see. Have a great Christmas!! Kari