The Main Stream

Jul 28, 2012 2:27 AM

Tucson family in London for Olympics

TUCSON - A Tucson family is heading to the London Olympics, all 17 of them.

Not because a relative is competing, but because it's a long time family tradition.

For the Brandt family, the Olympic tradition dates back to 1964. They love traveling, making memories and collecting memorabilia.

"Go USA," they cheer. It's well rehearsed and for good reason.

"Here I have a collection of pins and there's one pin from each Olympics I've attended," Chuck Brandt says his first trip was to the '64 Tokyo Olympics.

Brandt and his wife Judi say the Sydney games are perhaps their most treasured.

"When we got there, my son announced in Sydney, Australia that they were going to have a baby. And that little girl is here today, and she's 11 and her name is Sydney. So we kept thinking oh no, the next one is going to be called Salt Lake," laughs Judi, "So it stopped there, but it was really fun. So Sydney is really special."

Their Olympic spirit will now take them to London.

"Our entire family is going with us. We have three children, they each have three children so there's 17 of us," explains Chuck.

Showing us additional family via Skype, Judi says "And this is the youngest one that is going, this is Charlie. He's going to be 10 months the day of opening ceremonies."

Packing for 17 is no easy chore. And paying for the trip costs a small fortune.

"Well first of all, getting Olympic tickets is not easy to do at all. So we have eight people with credit cards," Judi says it's worth every cent to see their favorite athletes on the world stage.

Chuck and his boys are former pole vaulter. He says track and field is close to their hearts. "I'm pulling for LoLo Jones in the 100 meter hurdles," says Chuck.

Judy says, "So it's just the thing. I mean I get tears in my eyes for kids I've never met. For the efforts of the parents and everybody. It's just a wonderful experience.

Instead of booking a hotel, the Brandt family found a three story rental home in London that fits everyone.


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