Ticket snafu keeps parents from watching their Olympians compete

Maggie Hendricks

Early in the Olympics, one of the few complaints for the London Organizing Committee has been the many empty seats in reportedly sold-out arenas. Compounding those complaints? Parents have been kept from events where their children are competing because of a snafu with the ticketing system.

Every athlete is allowed to buy two tickets for the event they're competing in. In a sport like swimming, Olympians will swim in the morning, which will qualify them for the evening's events. However, the ticketing system isn't being updated to show who qualified in time to buy tickets for the evening session. According to the London Telegraph, parents of Swedish and Singaporean swimmers were refused access to the Aquatics Centre.

[ Related: Empty seats at Olympics prompt investigation ]

"It is so confusing for everyone. Parents keep calling the athletes, no one knows where the tickets are and it is not very good preparation for the athletes to be so stressed about it," [Gunilla Lindberg, a senior IOC member] said.

Can you imagine being the athlete in this position? You are about to compete in the race you've been preparing for your entire life, and then you get a call from your mother saying she can't get in to watch you. This shouldn't be anywhere near an athlete's radar.

[ Related: Surprising value of Olympic medals ]

It's a a new system, but it should have been tested before the Olympics. Great Britain had enough events coming into the Olympics to figure out a way to give out tickets without a problem. If it has to go back to handing out paper tickets like it did in peewee league, do it. Olympians and the people who supported them along the way shouldn't have to even think about this.

Related Olympics video on Yahoo! Sports:

More London Olympics content on Yahoo! Sports:
Actor James Caan has a special reason to root for U.S. boxer
Will Welsh soccer fans boo 'God Save The Queen'?
Embracing the Olympic spirit of sports betting