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Olympic-sized flap over empty seats

2:52 PM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
Spectators sit among empty seats before Egypt's group C men's soccer match against New Zealand at London Games Sunday (AP)
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(CBS News) LONDON - Huge blocks of empty seats have been seen in television coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games, much to the surprise and annoyance of British taxpayers - whose money is paying for the London Olympiad - and to thousands of sports fans who couldn't get tickets.

Ticket distribution has been described as a bit of a fiasco here. Normal people can't buy tickets and Olympic committee members who have them aren't using them.

"It's completely ridiculous," said one frustrated Brit. "We can't get any tickets and we see on the news that there's so many free places available, as well. So we are very disappointed."

Other Olympics have been plagued by similar woes, for similar reasons.

In the actual competition, Americans won two more gold medals.

But the world's top-ranked gymnast and a heavy favorite to win gold, American Jordan Wieber, stumbled, and a U.S. relay team came up short in the pool.

If everybody won who was supposed to win, there'd be no point holding the games.

Mark Phillips, CBS News

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