Inside the Games: let's sell out every ticket for Glasgow 2014

There are just 71 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014 and today marks an important moment for everyone who failed to get tickets (or got fewer than they would have liked) when they initially went on sale last year.

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Michael Jamieson promotes Games tickets
Michael Jamieson promotes Games tickets

Some 100,000 extra tickets will go on sale today, across all 17 sports, and I am certain that these will be snapped up quickly.

One million tickets were sold in the first phase of sales, with the demand for certain sports overwhelming: one of the track cycling sessions was 70 times oversubscribed!

I hope that every single sport is sold out this summer - the opportunity for the Scottish athletes to compete in front of a home crowd will be quite unbelievable.

I will never forget the feeling of walking into Wembley Arena for my first match of London 2012. There were 6000 fans packed into the stadium, more than I had ever played in front of before, and I have to admit that, at first, it was pretty terrifying.

I thought that I had prepared myself for the reception I would receive but it is impossible to anticipate just how loud a home crowd can be. I had played in front of large crowds before - mainly in Asia where badminton is one of their most popular sports - but in those situations the crowd were never cheering for me!

So, to compete at the Olympics, with the whole stadium backing me, was something special. It took a few minutes for the nerves to subside but, once they did, playing in front of a home crowd was the best experience of my entire career.

In my opinion, it is sometimes underestimated just how considerable a difference the backing of such a crowd can make.

The medal count for Team GB in London two years ago demonstrated that the support of a home crowd can give their athletes that little something extra which can improve a fourth place finish into a bronze medal, or a second place into gold.

Another reminder that the Games are fast approaching came yesterday when the Queen's Baton landed on British shores. The Baton arrived in Jersey, which is the first Home Nation stop on the 288-day tour of the Commonwealth, and Tom Daley, who is a Commonwealth Games medallist from Delhi four years ago and also a Glasgow 2014 Ambassador, carried it onto the island.

Following the Baton's visit to Jersey, it will spend the next 32 days visiting Guernsey, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Wales and England before it arrives in Scotland on June 14 for a 40-day journey around the nation.

Of all the triumphs of the London Olympics, the Olympic Torch Relay was one of the most unexpected. The Torch's journey around the UK really brought it home to the nation that the Olympic Games were imminent. Community after community welcomed the Torch to their town or city with an enthusiasm that few anticipated.

The real success of the Torch Relay was that it allowed every single person in the UK to feel involved in the Olympic Games and I predict that the Queen's Baton Relay will have a similar effect.

The majority of the Baton-bearers have been nominated as a result of doing work in their community and being given the opportunity to carry the Baton is an enormous privilege.

I am certain that the Baton Relay will really whet the appetite and build up the excitement of people around the UK for the Games to begin.

It is not only Team Scotland which is growing in size each week- Team England was boosted last week with the announcement of their 39-strong swimming team.

England will have one of the largest swimming teams at Glasgow 2014 but Scotland are just a shade behind behind in terms of numbers, with 38 Scottish swimmers selected.

The Tollcross International Swimming Centre has been renovated for the Games and is a spectacular venue. That Scotland and England have such sizeable teams will ensure there are plenty of clashes between swimmers from the two countries.

Match-ups between these two countries, one of the oldest rivalries in the world, are always special and the Games being in Scotland will ensure there is an extra bit of spice to the rivalry. One of the best Scotland-England contests will be between Scottish poster-boy, Michael Jamieson, and his English training partner, Andrew Willis in the 200 metres breaststroke.

The pair train alongside each other in Bath and are good friends but also fierce competitors. Their event will take place on day one of the Games and a Scottish victory over the Auld Enemy would kick-start the Scottish medal-count nicely.

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