Itinerant Fan

The long road to Sochi

(sportsfeatures.com)

(sportsfeatures.com)

Last week I did something I tend to do from time to time: I got onto the Internet and dropped 300 bucks on tickets to sporting events. In this case, it was for two events, one hockey game and one curling match.

The teams involved in those two events? I don’t know yet.

When are these events happening? February 2014.

The place? Sochi, Russia. (Or, technically, Adler, Russia. Go figure.)

Yes, for Mrs. Fan and myself, those 300 bucks I spent represent our first attempt at committing to going to Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. This has been a goal of ours for a while — not going to Sochi, necessarily, but simply seeing a Winter Olympics in general. This desire was ramped up when Vancouver was named as the host for the 2010 Games, but despite my considerable excitement over it as the games approached (a period of time that coincided with the birth of this blog, not coincidentally), we never made it to B.C. And that has only fueled my desire to get to these Olympics even though they’re much farther away from where we are.

We’ve been scouting out the logistics for a couple months now — flights, lodging, time off — but buying tickets came up out of necessity. As it turns out, there’s supposedly only one website that U.S. residents can turn to for a credible shot at buying Olympic tickets, but when I first researched the issue, the site declared that it was “out” of its allotment and was working to secure more tickets (sounds a lot like a shady middleman, no?). So I added my email to their mailing list in hopes of getting a virtual heads-up whenever tickets went on sale again, and lo and behold, three weeks later I got the alert that a new allotment would go on sale the following day.

Although the schedule of events is already up, it’s not an easy thing to buy tickets, and rather expensive ones as sporting events go, for an event taking place halfway around the world and for which you haven’t even made travel plans. All we could do is take our best guess at when the best time to go would be, and which of the many events to choose from would be ones we’d want. To wit: the one event I’d like to see while I’m there is a men’s hockey game involving the U.S. (presuming NHL players will be in the Olympics again, and even if not, it’s not gonna stop me from rooting for my country). So I chose to buy tickets for a men’s preliminary game starting at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, assuming that with that game on live at noon on the East Coast and 9 a.m. Pacific time, it would be an obvious place to slot the U.S., or failing that, Canada. That’s thinking for ya, huh?

Hopefully that pans out, as does the rest of this trip. As the plans come together, I’ll give updates on how it’s happening on the blog. And, if it all works out the way I want to, I should have quite a bit to write about next February.

For more posts on The Itinerant Fan’s upcoming trip to Sochi, click here.

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