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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
tech
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
Extras
indybest
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor