Thiam shocked at ticket costs and says family might be priced out of Paris 2024
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Belgium's two-time Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam has spoken of her "shock" at the cost of tickets for next year’s Olympics in Paris, admitting that her family might not be able to come to support her due to the "high" prices.
Paris 2024 organisers have come under fire over the price of tickets for the Games with many people saying that they are too expensive.
Thiam will be aiming to claim a third straight Olympic heptathlon gold in the French capital next year after her success at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.
But the 28-year-old admitted that the cost of tickets might make it difficult for her family to watch the action at Paris 2024 where she will be bidding to make history.
What shocks me above all is the price of tickets for the Olympic Games,
Thiam told Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure Les Sports.
It's the athletes who put on the show but I'm not even sure that my family will be able to come and see me, it's so expensive.
There is the price of the tickets, the trip, the accommodation on site.
We regularly talk about this subject in the media and it struck me because the Olympic Games still generate a lot of money, in terms of ticketing too.
Nafissatou Thiam is bidding to become the first athlete to win three successive golds in a combined event at the Olympic Games but fears her family will be priced out of being able to watch her ©Getty Images
Paris 2024 organisers expect to generate nearly €1.4 billion (£1.2 billion/$1.5 billion) in ticketing sales, including hospitality packages, equating to approximately one-third of the €4.4 billion (£3.9 billion/$4.7 billion) it hopes to make.
Criticism has been levelled at Paris 2024 as approximately half of the €24 (£21/$25) tickets were unavailable to the public having been reserved by the state and allocated for use by communities.
Complaints have also centred around athletics tickets that were being sold for up to €690 (£610/$730), as well as a lack of availability for sports such as fencing and climbing that quickly sold out.
I find it a shame that while you bring the show to life as an athlete, that your family will not necessarily be there to see you because it is too expensive,
My little brother had signed up for the first draw but the packs offered were really very expensive.
We will therefore have to wait now…to register for a second lottery and try to get single tickets.
Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet has been forced to defend the prices of tickets for the Games after their release last month ©Getty Images
Thiam's comments come after a recent survey found that 82 per cent of French citizens felt that the ticket prices for Paris 2024 are too expensive.
The Odoxa poll was published two weeks after the start of the first phase of ticket sales which saw three million made available.
Successful applicants were then obliged to purchase entry for three events at the same time, with many finding sports priced at a minimum of €80 (£70/$85).
The second phase of ticket releases will begin in May and will allow fans to buy single tickets for sports as well as for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
A third and final period is then due to take place at the end of 2023.
Tickets for sport climbing, fencing, judo, breaking, skateboarding, triathlon and BMX racing and freestyle have sold out since the launch of the first ticketing phase for three-session packs on February 15.
Paris 2024 organisers have defended the price of tickets, saying their approach is in line with the "Games Wide Open" motto and have pointed to one million tickets available at €24 and almost half for the general public being priced at €50 (£44/$53).
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