There's no doubt that technology was a game changer during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed work, school, and events to continue, albeit remotely. But even as the world slowly returns back to normal(ish), it's clear that remote gatherings are here to stay. So much so that, for the first time ever, people can enjoy the upcoming Olympics through Airbnb's Online Experiences program.
According to a recent news statement, Airbnb has teamed up with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to expand their Online Experiences service. The curated program, which will take place during the Tokyo 2020 Games (July 23 to August 8), will feature more than 200 opportunities to interact with Olympic and Paralympic athletes via Zoom.
The best part? For many of these Online Experiences, the hosts will be the athletes themselves! This will include both "competing and retired athletes, spanning over 50 sports and 30 countries," according to the news statement. So cool.
Where can you book an Olympic Online Experience?
Bookings are currently open on Airbnb's website. There, you'll find an array of awesome digital offerings, like "Warm-up with Paralympian Blake Leeper" and "Discover diving with Matthew Mitcham." Some experiences even include virtual visits to the Olympic Games venue, like "Live at the Olympics with Nastia Liukin."
The tickets are generally affordable, too. For example, one ticket to "Behind the curtain of the Opening Ceremony" is just $30. Not bad for a once in a lifetime experience!
That said, if you're a fan of the Olympics, you'll definitely want to check out these online events. An Olympic Online Experience would also make for an amazing gift for the athletes in your life.
What's more, Airbnb will continue offering athlete-hosted experiences throughout the year, even after the Tokyo 2020 Games. So if you're unable to book an experience right now, there will certainly be more in the future.
Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.