IOC, IPC and Airbnb unveil Tokyo Together - a chance to interact with Olympians and Paralympians
The world is approaching the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games and to bring people around the world closer than ever to the magic of Tokyo 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Worldwide Olympic Partner Airbnb have unveiled an exclusive program of over 200 Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences, on Airbnb. From 15 July, bookings open so that fans can meet Tokyo 2020 Olympians and Paralympians, non-competing athletes and Tokyo 2020 insiders live from Japan. Hosts span over 50 sports and 30 countries, including refugee athletes.
Since fans won’t be able to attend the Olympic Games in person, the launch of these one-of-a-kind experiences is a way for people around the world to celebrate and support the athletes, while feeling as close to the action as possible. From connecting with competing athletes to reliving iconic moments or discovering new sports, guests will be able to personally meet with a variety of athletes before and after they compete at Tokyo 2020 – these will include John John Florence, Pita Taufatofua, Sky Brown, Jonny Brownlee, Hannah Mills, Alice Dearing, Ibrahim Al Hussein, Alex Honnold, Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis.
Guests will also be able to relive a personal Olympic or Paralympic story directly with living legends such as Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Brandi Chastain, Benoit Huot and Michael Johnson, connect with Olympic medallists such as Cathy Ferguson, who participated at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, and learn more about the new Olympic sports such as sport climbing and surfing. People will also have the opportunity to explore Olympic culture with Olympian and photographer Ciara Michel, along with a co-host live from Tokyo, or with decathlete and artist Slaven Dizdarevic, live from The Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“In light of the current circumstances, we wanted to create a unique alternative to bring together athletes and fans while keeping the same sense of discovery and exclusivity,” said Kirsty Coventry, IOC Athletes' Commission Chair. “The Olympian and Paralympian Experiences platform is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to build a personal relationship with their fanbase and feel their support, while the platform will also bring the incredible Olympic spirit to people across the globe. As part of our effort to empower athletes at all stages of their career, the positive response to the past year’s activities has indeed confirmed that offering athletes the possibility to host such experiences presents them with new meaningful opportunities.”
While the Tokyo Together curated program will provide exclusive experiences available only during the Olympic and Paralympic Games period, many hosts will continue to offer their activities after the Closing Ceremony, as part of the Olympian and Paralympian Experiences on Airbnb. Through their bookings, fans will proudly be supporting their heroes, as proceeds will provide valuable income to athlete hosts, during and beyond the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“With spectatorship looking different this year, audiences are searching for new ways to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes during Tokyo 2020,” said Catherine Powell, Airbnb Global Head of Hosting. “Airbnb is all about creating unique experiences that connect people, and Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences allow fans to feel closer to their heroes than ever before. These interactive activities will provide an intimate window into the Games, all made possible by the 200+ athletes joining our hosting community this summer.”
Among the 30+ international teams represented through Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences are 10 Refugee Team and refugee scholarship holder hosts, including Tegla Loroupe and swimmer Yusra Mardini. By hosting Online Experiences on Airbnb, athletes are given the chance to earn money by sharing their skills and passion for sport with the world.