The organisers of the Winter Olympics said on Sunday they had sold 92 per cent of the tickets available for the first day of main competition but admitted thousands had not made it on time due to tight security.
The first day of medal competition on Saturday saw reasonable crowds but some banks of empty seats could still be seen for most disciplines. However, the spokeswoman for the organising committee, Alexandra Kosterina, said 92 per cent of the available tickets for Saturday had been sold and “we are happy with that”.
“Yes we’ve had some problems with basically a Russian mentality in a lot of ways that Russians like to come to the event not prior, but as close as possible and that is why indeed we had an issue of a lot of spectators being late for the Games,” explained Alexsandra Kosterina Sochi 2014 Vice President of Communications.
So the message has gone out – turn up early and get through the security checks on time especially for the events in the mountains say organisers.
It’s reckoned up to 4,000 spectators didn’t take their seats on the first two days of events.
But it was a technical fault and not a cultural habit which delayed the start of the mens downhill event. A problem with the gondolas put the start back by fifteen minutes.