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Last minute cancelation of Olympic-themed train tickets disappoints fans

Dong’ao Train Station’s flash sale of Olympic mementos canceled due to COVID-19

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Dong'ao Train Station designs Olympic-themed tickets. (CNA, Taiwan Railways Administration photo)

Dong'ao Train Station designs Olympic-themed tickets. (CNA, Taiwan Railways Administration photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Olympic and railway fans rushed to Yilan County’s Dong’ao to get limited edition Olympic-themed tickets — but were disappointed by a late cancelation due to overcrowding fears.

Dong’ao Train Station has become popular for its name, which is a homophone of the Chinese abbreviation for the Tokyo Olympics. Following the remarkable performance of Taiwan's athletes at the Olympics, the rural train station saw the number of daily passengers grow from around 100 to over 500, according to UDN.

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) took advantage of the Olympic’s popularity by announcing a flash sale event on Thursday (Aug. 5), CNA reported. Travelers who bought tickets from Dong’ao Station would be able to get a “Dong’ao Taiwan In” souvenir ticket, which features a key Hawk-Eye challenge image that helped Taiwan take gold in the men’s doubles badminton.

However, the first travelers to arrive at Dong’ao Station were disappointed to learn of its cancelation. According to UDN, the TRA canceled the event just two hours after its announcement, citing COVID-19 and social distancing considerations.

Almost as soon as Taiwan men’s badminton duo Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) and Lee Yang (李洋) won gold in the Olympics, the Hawk-Eye image of the line call challenge requested by their Chinese opponents went viral. Designs referencing the incident have appeared on a variety of products, from apparel and keychains, to the pending Land Bank of Taiwan’s new credit card.