On March 24, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially postponed the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to July 2021 due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19. But as it turns out, you won’t have to ignore the excitement of this year’s sport just because the opening ceremony won’t take place. That’s because starting July 24, Airbnb will host a five-day festival of Zoom-friendly activities led by the world’s greatest Olympians and Paralympics.
In partnership with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Airbnb is bringing the Olympic travel opportunities of a lifetime. And it doesn’t even require leaving your home. Over the course of five days, the company will host 100 different events (each up to $30) including workout sessions, cooking classes, inspiring workouts, and more. All will be led by athletes, including Paralympic long jump silver medallist Lex Gillette, four-time world champion surfer Carissa Moore, and beach volleyball champion Kerri Walsh Jennings. (You can go ahead and book these eight events today in advance.)
“At a time when it’s hard for people to gather and celebrate athletes’ special achievements, Airbnb is proud to host the summer festival, which is a new way to experience the Olympic and Paralympic spirit online,” said Joe Gebbia, a colleague. founder of Airbnb, in a press release. “Guests will be able to connect and socialize with some of the best competitors in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, giving them even more reasons to cheer them on next year.”
“Guests will be able to connect and socialize with some of the best competitors in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, giving them even more reasons to cheer them on next year.” —Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb
It is true that each event shares a close relationship with athletes that ordinary people may not have experienced without the effects of the epidemic. Tennis player Sania Mirza will teach her the habit of practicing “grand slam” and marathon runner Meb Keflezighi will teach a class on how to break your own boundaries for example.
And while you can spend more time inside than ever before, practicing and cooking with Olympic athletes — even if it’s just digital — seems to be worth living experiences. At least I think so, which is why I’m excited to preview Gillette’s Airbnb experience.
In your Airbnb experience, the world champion athlete, who is blind, takes guests through his Paralympic coaching experience and focuses on the view that you don’t need the vision to have eyes. Hearing the story of his inability to see, finally just to find his jogging sport, really felt like a kind of vivid experience, pulling back the curtain. He looks directly into the camera and talks to a small group of participants via Zoom about his training, how he navigates the world without eyes and how he experiences jumping through the air without the view of the ground. This experience is exceptional and is proof that — no matter how terrible Zoom calls sometimes are — they may still be our best option to keep human connections alive as they fight against COVID-19 continues.
“Paralympic athletes and Para athletes are masters of innovation and finding innovative solutions to the everyday challenges they face,” said IPC president Andrew Parsons. The Olympian and Paralympian Online Experience’s summer festival celebrates this perseverance and gives Para athletes a platform to share their stories in order to empower others.” Honestly, we can all use the spirit of the Olympic Games right now. So while you may not be using Airbnb to pre-book a remote tropical bungalow for your summer vacation dreams, you should consider using the booking platform to win your place for the once-in-a-lifetime Zoom experience.