14:05 24 July 2012
Stand-in British troops are giving inspiration to athletes, and the Olympics organisers have announced that they will be given free tickets, which will be distributed by the Ministry of Defence.
The troops, who have been drafted in at venues of the Olympic Games to compensate for the security gap caused by the G4S recruitment fiasco, are said to have given up leaves and family holidays just to be part of the games. They will be manning perimeter fences and airport-style metal scanners.
Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “We get so few opportunities to thank our Armed Forces. If there’s any opportunity, the first people who should receive a gold medal are the Armed Forces for stepping into the breach.”
Former sports minister Colin Moynihan also described the effect that the British troops have on the athletes, saying that the soldiers’ banter had lifted athletes.
The Olympics bosses announced that they have already given 10,000 tickets to the troops through a ticketshare programme. Now, however, they are distributing extra tickets in appreciation of the additional support provided by the troops, who will receive 900 more free seats.
Earlier this week, G4S, in-charge of security recruitment for the Olympics, ran into trouble when Olympic guards walked out due to a pay row. The guards say they have not been paid for six weeks. Cops had to fill their role prior to the arrival of the army troops.
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