No Olympics to watch? How to virtually hang out with Olympic athletes

Japan 2020

From Airbnb

DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — If COVID-19 wasn’t a thing, we’d likely be spending our weekend watching the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Instead, we’re marking one year until the scheduled start of the already-delayed games. And while you won’t be able to watch the world’s top athletes compete for gold this weekend, you can hang out with them online.

Airbnb is hosting the Summer Festival of Olympic and Paralympic Online Experiences where you can attend dinner parties, participate in online workouts and even attend classes taught by athletes who would otherwise be competing in Japan. And the best part? The experiences are pretty affordable.

According to a news release, more than 100 Olympians and Paralympians are on the schedule to participate. This includes tennis star Naomi Osaka, Olympic legends Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Meb Keflezighi, triathlon superstar Jonny Brownlee, Paralympic silver medallist Lex Gillette, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and many more.

“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,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia in an interview with OlympicChannel.com. “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.”

The six-day digital festival is the kick-off for more regularly scheduled experiences in the months to come.

Here’s a rundown of some of the experiences available this weekend:

  • Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee hosts a chat discussing mind, body and spirit
  • Yusra Mardini of the Refugee Olympic Team talks about overcoming obstacles and building resilience
  • Naomi Osaka, the two-time Grand Slam tennis champion, gives you a glimpse inside her quarantine workout routine.

You can click here to check out the full schedule of experiences.

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