Hours before the Olympics opening ceremony (which is two and a half days after the first event and 12 hours after the official start – keeping up?) a minor row has broken out about an ‘unticketed’ event, a preliminary round in the archery competition as it happens. I say it’s a minor row because by the end of the Olympics I’m sure it will have been forgotten about.

So, what is an ‘unticketed’ event?

If you don’t know, you’re in good company.

If you’re part of the Olympics organisation, its an event that it is not open to the public.

If you’re any of the public that turned up to see the event, it means an event you don’t need a ticket for – a bit of a freebie.

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? That could be argued all day, but because there’s a big party to get underway, here’s my quick thought on the matter.

‘Unticketed’ sounds like an internal term (used to distinguish events) that’s somehow sneaked, unchallenged, into the public facing language used in the Olympics. The problem for the Olympics, of course, is that if they make it clear that an event is not for the public to see (perhaps if it was titled ‘Press and athletes only) they would have a lot of people asking why? But the trouble they might having to explain why would be a lot less than that caused for the public showing up expecting to see some Olympic action.

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