The Olympics May Be Postponed, But You Can Now Book Virtual Experiences With Athletes on Airbnb

You may not be able to watch your favorite athletes compete on live TV, but Airbnb has created a way for you to connect with them directly from home.

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July 23, 2020

The 2020 Olympics may have been postponed, but thanks to Airbnb, you can now get some face time directly with a handful of top athletes.

Airbnb has joined forces with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee to hold a Summer Festival starting Friday when the Tokyo Games were originally slated to start. The five-day online-only event features more than 100 unique experiences hosted by Olympians and Paralympians around the world, some of whom have qualified for their first-ever Games and some of whom are already gold medalists.

Some experiences have very limited spots available, so book quickly if you want to snag a seat. If you miss out on the festival, many of the classes with limited seats will be live-streamed for spectators, too, and many of Airbnb's experiences hosted by Olympians and Paralympians will run regularly over the next month and beyond. These include activities like “climbing at home” with Alannah Yip, a professional climber and coach from Vancouver who qualified to represent Canada at the next Games, the first time climbing will be included in the Olympics.

If you're looking for a unique work out, a cooking lesson from one of the world's best athletes or an inspirational conversation with an Olympian who has overcome tremendous challenges, you'll find it here. These experiences would also make a great "just thinking of you" gift for a friend or loved one who needs a quarantine pick-me-up.

From $15

American track and field athlete Allyson Felix has nine medals from competing in four Olympic Games: London, Rio, Beijing and Athens. In this experience, she'll share four important life lessons she's learned throughout her Olympic career. The experience is limited to just six people and will be held on July 25.

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From $15

Take a choreography class with American figure skater Ashley Wagner, who will teach you a routine she competed with at the World Championships. The experience will be held regularly through early August.

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From $20

British Paralympic swimmer and triathlete David Hill will share his story with you as an athlete who was born without a left forearm. He's also a trained carpenter, and he'll show you some of the projects he's working on and the adaptive tools he's created. This hour-long experience will be held through early September.

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From $20

Spend an hour with three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, a professional American beach volleyball player. She'll take you through a brief breath exercise and then show you the warm-up routine she's used for the past 10 years. She'll host the experience twice, on Monday and Tuesday. Bring a balloon!

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From $25

Take a cooking class with professional surfer Brisa Hennessy, who will be representing Costa Rica at the next Games. She'll teach you how to make vegan Costa Rican ceviche, answer your questions about her athletic career and explain her diet as a plant-based athlete. The class will be offered July 25, 26 and 31.

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From $28

Just because you're training for the Olympics doesn't mean you can't indulge in homemade sweets. Petra Klingler, who's training to represent Switzerland in climbing, which is brand-new to the Olympics, will teach you how to make a traditional Swiss apple pie. The class will be held twice, on July 25 and 26, and has space for 10 people each time. Petra will host the class in English, French and German.

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From $30

In 2015, Yusra Mardini fled Syria to build a life in Europe. The following year, she joined the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team, and competed as a swimmer in the Rio de Janeiro Games. She'll take you through her journey and explain how she's stayed motivated throughout the challenges she's faced. The experience will be held July 25 and is limited to 10 participants.

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From $32

Norwegian Paralympian Birgit Skarstein became paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 20, but she didn't let that stop her from pursuing athletic dreams. She's a skier and rower and has competed in the Paralympic Winter and Summer Games three times. In this experience, she'll inspire you to adapt to change and see the good in life. It will be held July 25 and is limited to 10 people.

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From $37

Simidele Adeagbo was the first African woman and first Black woman to compete in skeleton racing when she represented Nigeria in the 2018 Winter Games. In this Airbnb experience, she'll take you through her 100-day journey of reinvention, which led her to compete internationally in a sport she had no previous experience in.

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From $50

Sakura Kokumai has been representing the US as a professional karate athlete since 2007, at the age of 14. She'll lead you in a one-hour karate workout perfect for all levels, even if you've never tried karate before. The classes are limited to 10 people each and will be held three times on July 24. Kokumai will teach in both English and Japanese.

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From $100

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka will show you what it's like to train for the Olympics during quarantine. She was the first Asian tennis player to rank No. 1 in singles and the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam. Over the course of an hour, she'll introduce you to her trainer, Yutaka Nakamura, and lead you in a work-out routine you can do from home. The class will be held on July 28 and is limited to 10 participants. It will be taught in both English and Japanese.

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