SG News (Straits Times)

Coronavirus: Singaporeans not giving up Olympic tickets

By May 10, 2020 No Comments
National diver Jonathan Chan and his mother, Nuen. Chan is the first Singaporean diver to qualify for the Olympics and was scheduled to compete at the Tokyo Games before they were postponed.

National diver Jonathan Chan and his mother, Nuen. Chan is the first Singaporean diver to qualify for the Olympics and was scheduled to compete at the Tokyo Games before they were postponed.

Deanna Ho was looking forward to not just a holiday in Japan later this year but also the chance to watch her sporting hero Stephen Curry live in action during the Tokyo Olympics.

The Singaporean and her parents had spent about $500 on tickets to the basketball competition which will feature a host of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars, including Curry, the Golden State Warriors point guard.

But Ho, 19, will have to wait another year for the opportunity after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last Tuesday it would delay the Games till 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “It has been a dream of mine to watch Stephen Curry shoot his crazy three-pointers like how he does in the NBA.”

She and her family are already planning for another trip to Japan next year and Ho said: “We will not ask for a refund even if it’s possible because we really want to watch the Games. We are hoping the tickets will still be valid then.”

Housewife Ms Ho, 40, who declined to give her full name (not related to Deanna), was another sports fan left disappointed by the postponement.

She had bought tickets for herself, her husband and two children to the athletics, beach volleyball, badminton and table tennis events from authorised ticket reseller Kingdom Sports Group (KSG) in November.

She was sympathetic towards the IOC’s decision and said “given the pandemic it’s really the socially responsible thing to do”.

She added: “I will definitely try my best to make the new dates as this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The next couple of Olympics (Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028) will be in farther countries.”

The Tokyo Games were set to be one of the most well-attended editions in the event’s history.

Organisers had said over seven million seats would be available globally with 4.5 million tickets already sold through an oversubscribed lottery system that was so popular it was expanded for an additional round. In the most recent Games budget from last December, organisers said US$800 million (S$1.15 billion) had been raised through ticket sales.

HOPES HARBOURED

It has been a dream of mine to watch Stephen Curry shoot his crazy three-pointers like how he does in the NBA. We will not ask for a refund even if it’s possible because we really want to watch the Games.

DEANNA HO, Singaporean who has tickets to the basketball competition in Tokyo.

The Games were set to unveil a record 339 events in 33 sports, ranging from the cheapest general tickets at 2,500 yen (S$32.90) to 300,000 yen for the best seats at the opening ceremony.

After the news was confirmed last Tuesday, KSG said on its Facebook page: “As the Games are postponed and not cancelled we will be guided by Tokyo 2020 and the IOC.

“We expect these decisions to take a number of weeks but at this stage we can not give any advice on the status of each person’s order as well as questions around the new dates.

“Once it is known we will advise accordingly.”

Nuen Chan, who is in her 50s, is waiting expectantly for the new schedule. Her son is national diver Jonathan, 22, and also the first Singaporean to qualify for the Olympics in the sport.

Chan, who works in the IT sales sector, said: “I will hold on to the ticket that I have now for sure because I am not going there to watch just the Olympics, but to support my son.”

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