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?
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?