Olympics: Twittersphere seethes over no-shows

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The world has come to London to play, but is anybody actually going to watch? Embarrassed officials are searching for answers after a number of Olympic venues were shown to have thousands of empty seats on the first day of events following the weekend's opening ceremony.

The overwhelming tide of no-shows could have been written off as hangover casualties after the big opening, which ran past midnight in London, but the Olympic soccer matches played last week were also sparsely attended.

All of this, despite most events having been officially sold out for ages.

Don't blame the fans. They want to go, but they can't because those empty seats belong to sponsors, officials, media and others with accreditation.

The non-attendance has infuriated members of the public and performing athletes alike.

"How can Olympics be a success when there are empty seats?" Jimmy Spartacus (@jimmyspartacus) tweeted.

Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi (@maheshbhupathi) tweeted to say he woke up the morning after the opening ceremony humming Hey Jude.

Half a day later, his humming had turned to fuming.

The exasperated Olympian said it was "absurd" that he should have to try for six hours to get a ticket so his wife could see him play in an "empty" venue during the Games.

Organisers have pledged to find out who the seats had been allocated to and why they were empty. I expect their report to say, "We're not mad at you, just disappointed".

The seats situation led a number of Twitter users to wonder aloud if US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who oversaw planning of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, was right to criticise Britain's hosting credentials.

Romney has been persona non grata to many Britons since he first bashed London's preparedness, and is still copping it, albeit unfairly, after it was reported he had taken issue with Sir Paul McCartney over the same rendition of Hey Jude that had Bhupathi humming the "nana-na-na" bit at breakfast time.

The claim was published in the Borowitz Report, a famous satirical column in the New Yorker. That he didn't really say it doesn't matter. After he dared to question London's can-do spirit, Mitt's name is mud around here.

"We call him Mitt the Twit," tweeted Philip Parker, aka @TwinkiesTime.

"He's lucky he's not called Matt."

TWEET OF THE DAY

Lord Coe, get off your arse and name and shame those companies not using seats. @jimmyspartacus

- NZ Herald

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