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Free Olympic events and last-minute tickets
Free Olympic events and last-minute tickets
With the run up to the Olympics in full swing, here's everything you need to know about getting last-minute tickets and the free events across the country.
The Olympic Games start next week (haven’t you noticed?) and for those of you still desperate to get your hands on tickets, there are plenty of ways to do so.
Despite all the fuss when tickets initially went on sale, thousands of tickets to a variety of events remain unsold. In fact, the spare ticket situation is so bad that officials are now halting the sales of tickets to some football games, having recognised they have no chance of actually selling out.
However, a quick look on the official website shows that it's not just football which hasn't sold out as there are still tickets to events such as basketball, swimming and diving with prices starting at £20.
How else can you get tickets?
If you can’t find something you want, or your chosen sport has sold out, you also have the chance of securing tickets by going another route. All of the countries taking part in the games are allocated a certain number of tickets and these are generally only allowed to be sold to people living in that country.
However, this changes when it comes to the European Union because member states can sell tickets to citizens from any EU country. This means if you’re a British citizen you can buy tickets through another EU country’s website and a full list of participating ‘re-sell’ sites can be found on the London 2012 website.
If you don't want to pay to see the Olympics, there are also lots of ways you can watch the big event for free in your local town or city.
The Olympic Torch Relay
One of the main fringe events is the Olympic Torch Relay which has been taking place across the country during the past month and by the time the Olympics start it will have gone through 1,000 towns, cities and villages in the UK.
Although it's now coming to an end, there are still a few days left, so if you still want to see it check the interactive map to find out where it’ll be.
The BBC has set up big screens across the country to let people watch the games. It's free and screens can be found in locations such as Festival Square in Edinburgh, Exchange Gate in Manchester, Humberstone Gate in Leicester and Armada Way in Plymouth. A full list of venues can be found on the Big Screen website.
Although you’ll need tickets to the London 2012 BMX and Track Cycling events which will take place at the Velodrome, and the Mountain Biking, which will be held in Essex, you can still watch the road cycling and you won’t need a ticket.
The outdoor events take place between 28 July and 1 August and the races start and end on The Mall, with the route heading across Putney Bridge and around Box Hill. The only part of the race where you’ll need tickets is along The Mall, but get to the other spots early if you want a good space as thousands of people are expected to turn up.
[SPOTLIGHT]A detailed map of the route can be downloaded from the Olympics website.
The Olympic marathon takes place on 12th August for men and the 5th August for women and it’s another event where spectators can watch the athletes for free at viewing spots along the race track. As with other events, it starts and ends at The Mall and the route goes along the river and does a loop around St Pauls, Bank, Aldgate and Tower Hill.
This event will take place in Hyde Park, on the 4th August for women and the 7th August for men, starting and ending at The Serpentine. The major viewing spots, such as Buckingham Palace where the bike route will pass, are ticketed, but it’s possible to watch the events for free in Hyde Park.
The race walk, which is a bit like power walking around a route, is another free event – unless you’re in the prime start and finish location of The Mall. The men’s event takes place on the 5th August and the women’s on the 11th August and it's free to watch if you're in the area of the track outside The Mall (as shown on the map).
If you want to watch some of these outdoor events, make sure you arrive early and come prepared.
Given the recent weather we've had, an umbrella and waterproofs are reccomended, along with suncream and water in the unlikely event of the weather improving. The travel situation is expected to be chaotic so check the journey before you set off on the Transport for London website and leave a lot of extra time to get to your destination.
Refreshments will be expensive so my advice is to make your own food to avoid over-spending on the day. Information on security and what items you can take into the events can be found on the main website.
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