Monday, February 5, 2018

A little Monday disappointment (though not totally unexpected)

A few weeks back I was excited about the possibility of attending the Olympic opening ceremonies the day I land in South Korea. Four years ago, I was in the Moscow airport when the opening ceremonies were taking place in Sochi, so I wasn’t able to get to them, though it was cool to watch some of them on Russian television.
When I booked the flight this time around, it worked out that I will be landing in Korea the day of the opening ceremonies and I was thinking there was a possibility of getting to see the spectacle that is the opening ceremonies. While my press credentials get me into pretty much every event, there are a number of high interest events that require press to get tickets in order to attend. The opening ceremonies is one of those events.
I contacted the US Olympic Committee about possibly getting a ticket to the opening ceremonies and much to my surprise, I got a positive response in return. They told me I could pick up my ticket at the USOC office in the Main Press Center.
Looking at my schedule, I knew it might be a tight schedule to make it to the stadium in time. I land at 3:20 p.m., which seems like plenty of time, but I have to go through numerous steps at the airport before getting on a train to take me from Seoul to Gangneung, where my media housing is located.
Today I reached out to the USOC again to check on when their offices would be open and it became obvious that there was no way I was going to be able to make it to the opening ceremonies. The gentleman with the USOC told me it took their group about six hours from the time they landed to get to their accommodations. Then it was another half-hour to check in to the room and another half hour to take a bus from the media village to the Main Press Center, which is located in the mountain cluster. He told me that I probably wouldn’t be able to make it and I agreed when he told me about the stuff that they had to go through when they got to Korea.
So, I told him not to hold the ticket for me and instead give it to someone else who might want to go. This was pretty disappointing, since the thing that most disappointed me in Sochi was not being able to see the opening or closing ceremonies (I leave Korea the day of the closing ceremonies).
I guess, if there’s a next time in this Olympic experience of mine, I’ll try to book the flight a day or two early to get there in plenty of time.

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