Bookings for the five-day event will open on July 22, with more than 100 Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences offered by Naomi Osaka, Yusra Mardini, Rui Hachimura, Allyson Felix, Lex Gillette, and ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza. Some of the experiences include Become a Ramen Expert and Sake Secrets from Japan’s Oldest Brewery
With the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 postponed until 2021, Airbnb, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will bring the spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics online with a curated programme of activities hosted by athletes for the first time in history.
They are announcing a five-day summer festival featuring more than 100 Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences hosted virtually by some of the world’s best athletes. The festival of Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences will kick off with an opening act on July 24, when the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were originally scheduled to begin, and is an opportunity for athletes to generate income while they share their passion for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and their sport with guests.
“At a time when it is difficult for people to gather and celebrate the exceptional performance of athletes, Airbnb is proud to host the summer festival which is a new way to experience the Olympic and Paralympic spirit online. Guests will be able to connect and interact with some of the most elite competitors within the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, giving them even more reasons to cheer them on next year,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia.
On partnering with Airbnb ace tennis star, Sania Mirza said, “As a professional tennis player, a mother, wife and homemaker, I juggle and balance multiple roles. This has made me realise the importance of not just physical health but also mental wellbeing. For me, a good workout is not just essential to keep for my physical performance but also helps me rejuvenate my mind. I am excited to partner with Airbnb to share my journey of motherhood and fitness and how I got back to the game. During the experience, I will take guests through a quick functional training, share my training regime and inspire them to strike the perfect balance between wellness of the mind and body, all from the comfort of my home in Hyderabad.”
Throughout the five days of programming across multiple time zones, the lineup will showcase a variety of interactive Online Experiences that guests can book* on Airbnb from July 22. Spectators can also watch select Online Experiences live or on replay on Airbnb and Olympic and Paralympic YouTube channels. While many hosts will continue to offer their activities after the event ends, like the art of reinvention with Olympian Simidele Adeagbo (skelton, Nigeria) and positive thinking with Paralympic hero Stephen Miller (athletics, Great Britain), several will be once-in-a-lifetime Online Experiences available exclusively during the festival, like:
- July 25: Build resilience to overcome obstacles with Yusra Mardini (swimming, IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016), learn about returning to sport after motherhood with Allyson Felix (athletics, USA), and work up a sweat in an inclusive session with Tatyana McFadden (athletics, USA),
- July 26: Cook up a storm with legend Colin Jackson (athletics, Great Britain), join a scenic training ride with Jonny Brownlee (triathlon, Great Britain), and discover velodrome secrets with Elia Viviani (cycling track, Italy)
- July 27: Chat mind, body and spirit with Jackie Joyner-Kersee (athletics, USA), push through boundaries and level up in life with Meb Keflezighi (marathon, USA), get vulnerable to unlock greatness with Kerri Walsh Jennings (beach volleyball, USA), and Zumba beachside in paradise with Tom Hintnaus (athletics, Brazil)
- July 28: Get a glimpse into quarantine training with two time grand slam winning Naomi Osaka (tennis, Japan), run, breathe and connect with world record sprinter Zhenye XIE (athletics, China), learn a grand slam inspired training regime with Sania Mirza (tennis, India), and master perseverance with Pita Taufatofua (Taekwondo and cross country skiing, Tonga)
- July 29: Fall in love with sneaker culture with Rui Hachimura (basketball, Japan), get up close and personal at home with Jordy Smith (surfing, South Africa), and see beyond the boundaries of vision with blind champion Lex Gillette (athletics, USA)
“The Olympic Games bring the whole world together and whilst we will all have to wait one more year to celebrate in Tokyo, the Olympic flame continues to be the light at the end of the dark tunnel humankind is currently going through. It demonstrates that we are stronger together. This festival is a great platform to unite and inspire the world in the spirit of friendship and solidarity this summer. The IOC puts the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement and supports them at every stage of their journey. We are delighted to collaborate with Airbnb to provide innovative economic empowerment opportunities for Olympic and Paralympic athletes around the world,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
“Paralympians and Para athletes are masters of innovation and finding creative solutions to daily challenges they face. The summer festival of Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences celebrates this tenacity and gives Para athletes a platform to share their stories to empower others, while also offering a new earning opportunity especially needed during these difficult times,” said IPC President Andrew Parsons.
While the festival will give fans unprecedented global access to connect with athletes from over 20 countries and regions all from the comfort of their homes, numerous Online Experiences in the lineup will also meaningfully promote:
- Economic opportunities for athletes: As Online Experiences launched as a way for hosts to earn money during the global pandemic, Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences is a new platform to provide direct earning opportunities for athletes, underlining the efforts of Airbnb, the IOC, and the IPC to support athletes, and to put them at the heart of the Olympic and Paralympic Movement.
- Resilience through adversity: Numerous athlete hosts will inspire perseverance through their Online Experiences, like Yusra Mardini, the Syrian swimmer who became a member of the first ever IOC Refugee Olympic Team in 2016 and whose story became known for saving 20 lives with her sister, including their own lives, during a treacherous journey from Syria to find safety in Europe, who will host a one-off workshop on resilience. Another inspiring option is co-hosted by Tegla Loroupe, Chef de Mission for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, and Rio 2016 Olympian, IOC Refugee Olympic Team hopeful for Tokyo 2020 James Chiengjiek Nyang, as they will welcome guests will transport guests virtually to the Tegla Loroupe Training Centre in Kenya.Tegla has been the guide and mentor to the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.
- The world-class hospitality of Japan: In addition to the Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences and as a way to celebrate Tokyo 2020, local hosts in Japan will offer guests a way to travel and explore the cultures and traditions of the country from their living rooms. Through support from Shibuya City Tourism Association, local hosts will lead a package of unique online activities like Become a Ramen Expert and A Tour of Historic Shibuya. Other ways to virtually transport to Japan will include Sake Secrets from Japan’s Oldest Brewery and Explore Kyoto Where Unique Old Gods Live.