Familiar faces help top athletes win

A selfless fan has shown his Olympic spirit by offering tickets for the London Games to the friends and family of a British athlete. Londoner Matt De Monte, who had already purchased more than 20 passes for himself from official foreign sellers, bought a further eight for events in which 400m hurdle world champion Dai Greene is likely to compete.

The athlete had expressed his frustration at being unable to gain more than the allocated two tickets for his sessions on Twitter, resulting in Mr De Monte offering his help in finding extra passes for Greene's relatives.

After the star's girlfriend promised Mr De Monte the couple would reimburse him for the cost, the supporter paid £1500 of his own money to get hold of tickets for Greene's semi-final and final events.

Welshman Greene said the incident embodies the true Olympic spirit and told the BBC: "You don't hear of many stories like this. It's usually just doom and gloom - this is somebody going out of their way to help others."

Chartered Psychologist Professor David Lavallee from the University of Stirling says:

"The recent pleas for Olympic tickets from top UK athletes like Dai Greene and Zach Purchase via have highlighted how important it can be to have your friends and family at the Olympic Games. Knowing that family, friends and some familiar faces around can help an athlete’s performance.

"Research from previous Olympic games - such as that by Tim Rees from the University of Exeter - has shown that successful athletes are better at dealing with relationships with their family and significant others as well as with distractions like transportation, the media and getting tickets."