I’d like to see Usain Bolt beaten!

Athletics, cycling and swimming appear to be the Olympic events most eagerly anticipated by the viewing public of Suffolk.

But none of those we spoke to on the streets of Ipswich have tickets for the Games. And that has left some with bitter feelings.

There were mixed views too on whether the 2012 Games will be good for the country.

n Phil Hatfield of Ipswich, an unemployed writer, said: “I didn’t apply for tickets because I can’t afford it, but I’m very eager to see it. I’ll be watching as much as I can on TV. I’ll be looking out for the swimming, the diving, the athletics – anything and everything really, but especially the things Great Britain traditionally does well in, such as the cycling and the rowing.

“I’ve always been conscious of the Games since 1960, so I’m very pleased to see the Olympics here. It’s the first time they’ve been in Britain in my lifetime.


You may also want to watch:


“The timing of events will be ideal for TV here – not like Atlanta or Beijing. The BBC will be in its element with all the major events on at prime viewing times.”

n Sales director Kelly Snook, who commutes from Ipswich to London, was disappointed to miss out on the ticket allocation.

Most Read

She said: “There’s never been an Olympics I haven’t watched, so with it being in London I’d obviously like to go.

“But I applied and got nothing. All the people I know who applied for tickets got nothing.

“I’m still hoping something will change and there will be seats available for some events.

“My daughter, who is crazy about gymnastics and is a big Beth Tweddle fan, was devastated that we didn’t get tickets for the gymnastics.

“I like athletics, and also the cycling –just to see inside the stadium and the velodrome would be good.”

n Interior designer Jon Garrad of Hadleigh is looking forward to the Games – but with mixed feelings.

“It’s very good PR for the country,” he said. “It’s a great event and nice that it’s in London.

“But it’s come at a difficult time, with the recession and unemployment. I didn’t apply for tickets.

“I’ll look out for the distance running and the swimming, but the track races will be the highlight for me. I’d like to see Usain Bolt beaten!

“I’m from that part of London originally and it’s been interesting to see the development of the site from the train. It’s good for the environment –it’s great to improve the area, which was very run-down.”

n Graham Blackburn, a graphic designer from Ipswich, did not apply for tickets either, but is still hoping to see some of the action.

He said: “I love watching cycling – I always follow the Tour de France – so I’ll be looking out for Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. I’ll probably try to go to see the cycling road races in the streets of London.

“I might also try to see some of the events no one wants to watch.

“I love team sports. I’m not so mad about athletics. I play squash, so I’m disappointed there’s no squash in the Olympics.”

Graham is also far from certain whether having the Games in England will be good for the country.

He said: “My partner’s an Aussie. She was around for the Games in Sydney and she says there was a lot of dead wood left afterwards. I’m not anti the Games being here, but all that money could have done an awful lot for a lot of starving kids. It does seem a bit bonkers.”

n Retired engineer Michael Holmes of Ipswich has no such doubts.

“It will be good for the country,” he said. “A waste of money? No.

“I didn’t apply for tickets but I’ll enjoy it on TV.

“I like watching the swimming – especially the women. I also like most track and field events – the glory stuff. The 100m and 200m are always the ones to watch.”

n Ipswich police officer Sally Wilson said: “It will be good for the country.

“I think everyone will be looking forward to it, and I’m praying it will go off without any major problems. Security will have to be very tight, and it will be.

“I didn’t apply for tickets because I don’t know when I’ll be working, but I’ll certainly be watching all I can on TV.

“I enjoy all the events and once you start watching you get into everything. I’ll be looking out especially for the track and field athletics, and for Tom Daley in the diving.”

n However David Wilding, a telecoms engineer from Crowfield, spoke for many when he said: “I’m not particularly interested.

“It’s probably a good thing for Britain to have it here, but it’ll be surrounded by lots of hype and I may choose to be out of the country.

“The constructors have done a fantastic job. I travel to London a lot by train and I’ve been watching the Olympic Park go up from the start. It’s a real credit to the construction teams.

“That area of London has certainly been transformed, and it’s generated employment for a lot of people, even if only temporarily.

“The real question, though, is whether it leaves a lasting legacy for the country and that remains to be seen.”

- What do you think? Let us know by posting a comment below!

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter