When it comes to getting tickets for events when working the Olympics, the rule is that they are never guaranteed and shouldn't be expected, but our bosses do try to make sure everyone gets a shot to go to something. At most Games, you can also usually buy tickets if you have something specific you really want to go to, albeit at the loss of your sleep time, but that wasn't an option in London unless you had a British passport (not sure what that was about). Getting to go to an event can be a mood changer. The mental fatigue that comes from hellish hours and conditions suddenly vanishes once you make it to something in a venue, creating a mental and spiritual refresh from getting caught up in the energy of whats going on. With only a couple days to go, I still hadn't gotten my shot to go to anything. One morning after work (Friday I think? all the days blurred together!) I met up with my friend John, the husband of one of my college pals, Kelly. John works for OBS (Olympic Broadcasting Services), and when we met up to grab a coffee and visit, he asked what I had seen so far. When I told him nothing yet, he changed our plans and got us in to catch the end of the USA/Belgium field hockey match. (No coincidence that Kelly played field hockey at VCU and now they both play in a co-ed league Kelly formed in Salt Lake; It really was just that the venue was right next to the IBC.) I've never been to any event at any Olympics that was dead. No matter what it is, maybe just because it is the Olympics, the crowd is always fully engaged. It always makes it fun. That evening, I woke up to a phone call that my bosses had a last minute ticket to track & field. It had already started, and by the time I was able to get into work to pick up the ticket there was barely 30 minutes left, but at least it was something. You can't say no to that.
[apologies for blog posts before 11/2008 that are not yet updated to format]