British Olympian Matt Richards’ Family Victims Of Paris 2024 Ticket Scam

Swimming at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France begins on July 27th with tickets still available for purchase, albeit at your own risk.

As British Olympian Matt Richards‘ parents learned, official-looking sites offer tickets to the world’s biggest sporting event; however, not all are legit.

Richard’s mother, Amanda, told the BBC that the family had been scammed of 2,500 pounds ($3,170.50) by a ticket website that “looked perfectly legitimate.” (ESPN)

They had been unable to afford tickets in the official ballot where only the most expensive, priced at 3,000 euros each, were left by the time they got their turn. (ESPN)

“We couldn’t afford to buy tickets for everything he’s swimming in, but we wanted to be there for sort of the important ones, the semis and the finals, so we bought tickets for five evening events,” she said.

“We don’t have masses of savings. We just don’t have the money to be able to just buy another set of tickets. We’re devastated. … I was really upset. I feel like a fool.”

Richards, who qualified for Paris in the men’s 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle as well as relays, took to social media and addressed @Olympics regarding the scam.

“I do find it crazy that when competing at an Olympic Games, the families of the athletes have to source and fund tickets themselves,” Richards posted. “My family and I are looking at a bill of thousands of pounds spent on tickets, just to see me swim in a couple of sessions this summer.

“Given that you won’t pay the athletes who compete in the event (that creates billions every year in revenue) due to it ‘not being the Olympic spirit’ … do you not think it’s time that you support the families of the people competing, by giving them tickets to the events that their family members are competing in?”

“Seeing your family or friends compete at an Olympic Games shouldn’t be reserved for the people that have thousands to spare, who can afford to come and watch,” he wrote. “I think it’s time that [IOC president] Thomas Bach and the IOC start taking care of their athletes and not just their shareholders.”

Richards’ father, Simon, told SwimSwam, “It’s hugely upsetting as parents of an athlete. Having sacrificed so much over so many years, we just want to be in-venue to support our child IN the Games.

“To fall foul of scam sites is heartbreaking and wrong, and then to have to pay out several thousands of pounds is so difficult. We’ve never expected to be “given” anything for free, but it doesn’t feel right to be charged literally thousands of pounds just for tickets.

That doesn’t take into account flights and accommodation to get to the Games. It’s wrong that families face being priced out of supporting their children”.

27
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

27 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Blackflag82
1 month ago

As someone who was able to get some tickets to the Olympics (not swimming) I will say that the ticketing experience was less than transparent. The official resale platform didn’t come up until late May and even then it was unclear whether this would be a sell-for-what-you-paid or Olympics official scalping site. We got the tickets we got (women’s rugby and 2 soccer matches in Marseille) over a year ago, and were left in the dark about whether we might be able to get others (aiming for fencing since our daughter fences). By the time the resale platform popped up, there wasn’t anything we could make work with our travel so we planned other stuff.

Tldr: if you’re a… Read more »

(G)olden Bear
1 month ago

For Fukuoka in 2023, an all-sessions “VIP” pass (code for reserved seats lower down) was approximately $600.

For Paris, equivalent tix are €900 per session.

So, the IOC is gouging spectators, whether family members of athletes or not. We’re family, and spent approximately $15,000 on tix to watch our athlete swim….

Obscene.

Alison England
1 month ago

I recall Becky Adlington’s parents also having problems…..

Serious Fraud Office await Olympic ticket judgment | Rebecca Adlington | The Guardian

Alison England
Reply to  Alison England
1 month ago

SwimSwam doesn’t appear to allow the link I posted.

Admin
Reply to  Alison England
1 month ago

At a minimum, I’d love to see some special portal for families to buy tickets where they know it’s going to be legit.

I understand why they can’t give away tickets to every qualified athletes. In a sport like swimming, that comes out to be a lot of tickets. But I think a portal would be the least they could do.

Alison England
1 month ago

Didn’t Becky Adlington’s parents have ticket trouble at one point too?

Skip
1 month ago

If they couldnt afford the tickets from the official site, just watch from home, sad they fell for scams. Its very expensive to attend, especially when its multiple events/,days. The IOC should have reserved enough for athlete families, but of course they didnt, its all about profit

maverick1993
Reply to  Skip
1 month ago

You said a lot without saying anything constructive.

Guimaraes Cayley
1 month ago

To say I am sorry does not begin to express how wroth I am.

Andy
1 month ago

1) the IOC should definitely give each athlete two family tickets per event that they’re in. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and they deserve to have their families there for it

2) it couldn’t have been any more clear that you were only allowed to buy tickets from the official paris24 site or the affiliated official resale site

Looking at the resale site right now, there are PLENTY of seats available to EVERY heats and finals session. They might be in the more expensive tiers but that’s still on them for choosing to go with the cheaper but scam website

Andy
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

If anyone else decides to go last minute after seeing the US trials action

https://ticket-resale.paris2024(dot)org/searchresult/eventseries/3217164

Bob
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

This is how you get more eric the eels performing, for what would become a ticket sales scam by poor nations who field 0 qualified swimmers.

College Sports Union Member
Reply to  Bob
1 month ago

The more I read into this, the more blatantly racist it becomes.

That’s a pretty pompous way of referring to an Olympian. Also, I’m pretty sure “Equatorial Guinea” has better things to do than try and scam people, and that’s a pretty big leap to assume “Eric’s” family wouldn’t want to go. Kind of funny how “the athlete’s family” got swapped out with “poor nation trying to scam people” in your argument.

But let’s ignore all that and assume they are trying to “scam” money. So what. 2 out of tens of thousands of seats get charged at a slightly higher rate to people who aren’t going to look twice at the cost of going anyway. Somebody catch me, I’m… Read more »

JJ jfhfjg
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

I hope u get scammed. Hard

Andy
1 month ago

1) the IOC should definitely give each athlete two family tickets per event that they’re in. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and they deserve to have their families there for it

2) it couldn’t have been any more clear that you were only allowed to buy tickets from the official paris24 site or the affiliated official resale site

Looking at the resale site right now, there are PLENTY of seats available to EVERY heats and finals session. They might be in the more expensive tiers but that’s still on them for choosing to go with the cheaper but scam website

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

Read More »