Wow, soldiers have been drafted in to fill empty seats at the London 2012 Olympics after prime “Olympic family” seating at the aquatics centre, gymnastics arena and basketball venue again went unused on the second day of competition. Some of the troops, working at the Olympics to provide security, said they were scheduled to start shifts but instead were offered courtside seats at the basketball arena to watch the USA v France, the London organizing committee (LOCOG) refusing to rule out offering seats to G4S staff if the problem persists. Well, at least it beats being drafted for Afghanistan. Read The Guardian.
Pictures of athletes competing against banks of empty seats were beamed around the world on the first day of competition but Lord Coe, the Locog chairman, was initially dismissive of the problem, saying on Sunday: “Those venues are stuffed to the gunnels.”
He denied that having troops fill seats appeared shambolic. “If we have the army sitting there on rest periods we can ask them if they want to sit in there and watch it,” he said. “We take it seriously. I don’t want to see swathes of those seats empty.”