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Rio Olympics

After my London Olympic ticket woe, four years later I was both better prepared and luckier in the quest for event tickets at this summer’s Rio Olympics. Attending an Olympics has sat idle on my bucket list for some time but after the disappointment of not being able to attend London’s momentous occasion, we will be heading down to Rio in a few weeks time to see seven different sports over a ten day period. Surreptitiously it also coincides with my big birthday month, and therefore I was determined to make it happen.

Better research and lessons learnt told me that as a EU citizen I was able to apply for tickets from Authorized Ticket Resellers (ATR) of any European Union member. So I busily searched all over various countries websites and that widened our odds. Brexit will put an end to anyone trying to do that for Tokyo 2020.

There had to be a large element of planning to fit within an itinerary and also to avoid late night sessions as our daughter is coming with us. Swimming tickets proved impossible to get, and athletics was tough. The opening and closing ceremonies were price prohibitive and some sports just did not appeal. I ended applying for a whole range of different sports at various price points and over time, some events more easily than others, we managed to secure far more tickets than we imagined.

It does leave us with a very hectic schedule with just one ‘rest’ day during the 10 days we are in Rio but we have a nice range of sports. We managed to get tickets for tennis, gymnastics (trampoline), beach volleyball, water polo, equestrian, diving and track and field.

The tennis was on our wish list. Gymnastics and equestrian was really with our daughter in mind, water polo was a bit random, and we are chuffed to have a track and field session at the Olympic Stadium, which will include the men’s 400m hurdles final. The beach volleyball I hear you ask? Well that was a strange turn of fate!

With enough tickets secured, we booked our flights months and months ago but accommodation was a real issue. Initially the majority of rooms were blocked out by the IOC, member countries, athletes and media but we were happy to bide our time especially with the myriad of negativity hampering Rio’s efforts to put on a successful Olympics and encourage foreign visitors.

The problem was those hotel rooms never did come back on stream. I have some good connections with some senior people at some of the large US hotel groups, but their efforts have turned out to be fruitless. We searched the net like crazy and AirBnB was looking like being our only hope, even though I had some reservations as we’ve never used them before.

Anyway with just a couple of weeks to go before we fly, and sleeping on the beach becoming a distinct possibility, my dogged-other-half managed to find us a nice apartment in the Barra region. This neighbourhood is on the edge of the main city but is host to many stadiums and arena’s, including where the tennis, diving and gymnastic will be held.

Barra da Tijuca is a modern and safe area, which was also important when we were looking at where to stay. It also has good transport links, at least it should when they are completed!

So we are all booked, we are off to Rio, although we have plenty of stuff still to work out before we go, but we are excited, this despite the fact there is so much media negativity out there. But then again there seems to be at any large sporting event these days.

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