Take 2 — London Calling
Good timing procures a gold-medal seat
The best moment of the London Olympics for me occurred on Saturday, Aug. 4, when I listened to “The Star-Spangled Banner” being played as the American flag was raised to celebrate an American athlete who had just won a gold medal in shooting. What was amazing for me was that I did not even have a ticket to the session where this occurred. Being at the right place at the right time resulted in me becoming a spectator to this triumphant occasion.
I purchased tickets to 12 Games sessions. Not unexpectedly, the prices of tickets for sessions where medals are awarded are significantly greater than for tickets to non-medal sessions. This price difference can be 100 percent or more, with emphasis on “more.” Consequently, all of my tickets were for non-medal sessions. One gets a lot of sporting entertainment for the dollar by sticking with preliminary-round sessions.
One of the tickets that I purchased was a general admission grounds pass to the Royal Artillery Barracks where the shooting competitions were taking place. I had the option to purchase an upgraded grounds pass that included a medal ceremony but declined because of the cost.
On Saturday, I went to the shooting venue where I spent the morning watching the elimination round in women’s trap shooting. When this was over, I walked to the 50-meter rifle range where the qualifying round for women’s 50-meter three position rifle shooting was taking place. The field had to be narrowed to eight competitors for the final.
In the course of bantering with some of the volunteers, I learned that there was a fear that the final round would not draw a full house, so folks who had the general admission ticket would be admitted for no additional cost on a first-come, first-served basis 15 minutes prior to the start of the final round. As luck would have it, I was admitted to the rifle and pistol finals hall. The venue was about 90 percent full when I entered, and it was completely full by the time that the competition started.
The rest is for the record book: Jamie Lynn Gray of the USA outshot seven competitors in the 50-meter three position rifle competition. For this I was so happy.