Tasha Danvers: Athletes’ families are suffering just as much as the fans when it comes to empty seats

 

These Olympics started brilliantly but the momentum from the opening ceremony has been dampened by the empty seats we are seeing across the Games.

I find it a bit bizarre considering that when the tickets were first put on sale we were told they could have been sold seven times over. On top of that, there are hundreds of fans outside stadiums who are trying to buy tickets only to be told the events are sold out.

Probably the worst part of the debacle is that the athletes could have invited more of their family and friends to watch them but most have been restricted to only two or three tickets.

I hope the problem is solved before the athletics starts on Friday. I’m excited to see Dai Greene, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Jack Green in my old event, the 400m hurdles. I honestly think they represent some of our best medal contenders.

Most of the media and public focus has been on Jessica Ennis and I understand that but it’s meant athletes such as Dai, Perri and Jack haven’t had quite the same distractions and can simply focus on the job at hand. All three of them are coming into form at just the right time so the task during the next couple of days is a matter of focusing and believing they can do it because they can.

For some athletes such as myself, the dream of performing at a home Olympics was ended before it began and I really feel for Paula Radcliffe after what she’s been through.

Paula will never compete at a home Games and the Olympic title remains one of the accolades she has yet to add to such an amazing career. This is the injury she picked up in 1994 and was told she would never run again because of it. The fact she has gone on to achieve what she has is quite amazing.

I was talking to Kelly Sotherton at the opening ceremony, who was obviously disappointed to have missed out on London 2012 because of injury but the disappointment for Paula must be even more. Having been picked for Team GB, the cruelty of the timing of Paula’s foot condition is that she would have been kitted out and had done all her pre-Olympic training. She is such a resilient individual I wouldn’t be surprised if she comes back even stronger.

Of the British athletes who are at the Games, the younger ones may be thinking that if they can do well with the expectancy of a home nation and the pressure to perform they can compete anywhere.

But for others it can be a case of, “Where do we go from here?” It can be a magnificent part of many athletes’ careers but how do you find the motivation for future competitions? For a British athlete, this is as good as it gets and I think some athletes may struggle to stay competitive at future Games.

Danvers’ exclusive column comes courtesy of Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno. Mizuno’s new Performance Centre is open to the public at Centre Point Building, 101- 103 New Oxford Street. Visit mizunoseiei.com for more information.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
News
i100
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot