It is that time again. I requested Olympic tickets yesterday.
You see, the purchasing of Olympic event tickets (especially when you want to go to one of the most popular Olympic events) is not simple. Nor cheap. For the past two Olympics I have scrambled to get tickets. We talk to friends, we talk to officials, we shop ebay, we shop the side of the street outside of the venue (shhhh... don't tell) just to find tickets to watch our everyday Olympian race. Every year we say that we only care about having tickets to Mark's events before we get there. Remember, we are traveling around the world and spending thousands of dollars to watch Mark swim-we better have tickets in hand to get in the door. Other event tickets will pick up when we get there.
I received an email from CoSport the official ticketing broker for the 2012 Olympics. The email explained that the tickets would be sold through a lottery system. You put your request in, provide a credit card number, and wait to see if your name is drawn and you are lucky enough to get to buy tickets (as soon as you "win" they run your cc). CoSport puts a max constraint on those who enter the lottery (4 tickets for prelim sessions and 2 tickets for every finals session). There is no guarantee that you will win the the lottery and there is no guarantee that if you do that you will receive all of the tickets you've requested.
But, aren't you just given tickets if Mark makes the Olympic team?!
Nope. Well, not nope... just not enough.
In the past Mark has been given 2 tickets for the events in which he swims. We have heard a rumor that this time around each athlete will only receive 1 ticket for each event in which he or she swims. Which helps, but when you are popular (or maybe it is just because he's got a lot of family), 1 ticket doesn't cut it. So, we entered the CoSport lottery. With no guarantee, Mark and I both entered the lottery for the max number of tickets for a grand total of $1,006 each (and this only for the sessions in which the 100m breaststroke and the 4x100 medley relay are swum... and it is the cheap seats!). Ouch!
Ordering tickets and then writing this post makes me squirm a bit. You know how superstitious (and nervous and anxious) I am. I don't like talking about the meet that Mark hasn't even qualified for yet. But, when it comes to Olympic event tickets, you gotta do it or risk sitting at home watching it on TV.
The rest of the planning will wait until Mark's hand touches the wall in Omaha at the trials. Until then, keep your fingers crossed that we win the lottery and have Olympic tickets in hand by the end of the summer. And then, keep your fingers crossed for the next year that Mark earns a spot on the team.