Book An Online Experience With An Olympian This Wednesday

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were due to begin this Friday, but the postponement has left Olympians, Paralympians and spectators in limbo. To help fill that void Airbnb has collaborated with the Olympic and Paralympic committees to host the five-day Summer Festival, offering unique online experiences with a host of athletes.

The festival begins this Friday 24th July, with bookings going live on Wednesday 22nd July. The proceeds from this rare opportunity to meet inspiring figures will go to athletes, giving them the chance to generate income from their talent and experience.

While the final line-up is subject to change, we’ve been teased the chance to go on a scenic training ride with triathlete Jonny Brownlee and try a cook-along with former hurdler Colin Jackson.

There will also be the opportunity to discover how some Olympians train, with tennis players Naomi Osaka (Japan) and Sania Mirza (India) pulling the curtain back on their regimes, as well as the chance to join in and sweat along. There’s Zumba on the beach with retired pole vaulter Tom Hintnaus (Brazil) and an inclusive workout with Paralympian wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden (USA).


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Many sessions will zero in on mindset, with athletes discussing the mental qualities that are as essential to sporting success as physical prowess. Wheelchair tennis player and Paralympic medallist Lucy Shuker, pictured, will speak on the importance of sports psycology. Swimmer Yusra Mardini, part of the first IOC Refugee Olympic Team, will be discussing resilience, marathon runner Meb Keflezighi (USA) will talk pushing through boundaries, while hero of both Summer and Winter Olympics Pita Taufatofua (Tonga) focuses on perseverance and three-time beach volleyball champ Kerri Walsh Jennings (USA) explores the relationship between vulnerability and greatness.

While there are no confirmed prices for festival experiences, some Olympians are hosting sessions already: costs range from £7 to £36 and events last between 60 and 90 minutes. Most viewing groups are limited to ten people, small enough that you can be sure you’ll be able to pepper each athlete with questions.

Set an alarm and start browsing what’s on offer as soon as you wake up on Wednesday.

Jonathan Shannon
Former editor

Jonathan Shannon was the editor of the Coach website from 2016 to 2024, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and used the training plans on the site to run a sub-40min 10K, 1hr 28min half marathon and 3hr 6min marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.