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London 2012 Olympics

Chris Hoy’s father-in-law confuses garden furniture with velodrome tickets


The father-in-law of Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy was shattered to discover that the four London 2012 Olympic Games cycling tickets he thought he had successfully applied for turned out to be seats of a different kind – garden furniture.

Bob Kemp, like all of his family, applied in the initial UK offer for Olympic tickets. Expectations were pretty low as the velodrome holds only 6,000 seats, of which probably around less than a quarter were available to the UK public.

So scarce are the cycling tickets most of the Hoy family are preparing a big social gathering at an auntie’s house for the Olympics.

So imagine Kemp’s joy when he checked his bank balance to find his account debited for an amount equal to four cycling velodrome seats.

“He was absolutely thrilled and couldn’t believe it. He sent out emails to the rest of the family letting everyone know of his good luck. He started planning on the London trip,” said Hoy.

“We were all pleased.”

But when London 2012 Olympic Games organisers (Locog) sent out confirmation emails, Kemp received one notifying him he was one of the 1.2 million who had been unsuccessful in securing any Games tickets.

So he checked his account again. Whoops. The bank debit note against the amount was for Olympian Seats, from an outdoor garden store where Kemp had bought new garden furniture on the same day as money was being debited by Olympic organisers. The family excitement about the Olympics deflated immediately.

“He got four seats alright, four garden seats,” laughed Hoy.

Hoy said he too, was like most of cycling team and was also unsuccessful in securing any Olympic tickets.

But the British Olympic Association is organising for all of the Team GB athletes to have two tickets to each of the sessions in which they compete in London.

Under the deal, which was brokered by Locog with the International Olympic Committee, the athletes have to pay for the two tickets.

“It is good that cycling is so popular, and while the two tickets are great, it is a chance for my parents and wife to see me, but it makes it hard for extended family and friends and people who have supported you for your whole career to be there,” said Hoy.

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