Olympians host online Airbnb ‘experiences’

Olympic athletes are working with Airbnb to provide online experiences for fans, including goal-setting advice sessions and home workouts.

The experiences are being delivered under the partnership agreed last year between the International Olympic Committee and the travel accommodation service. They were originally to be delivered in-person but have been moved online during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

People who buy the experiences via the Airbnb platform are able to then connect with the athletes via video calls, typically in small groups. Among the athletes taking part, American swimming gold medallist Breeja Larson has been offering advice on setting goals, and Chinese Olympic sailing champion Xu Lijia has been hosting workout sessions.

After hosting a workout session, Belgian bobsledder Elfje Willemsen said “When offering the experience online, I was able to speak with guests from Canada, the USA, Sweden and England in the same session.”

Catherine Powell, head of Airbnb Experiences, said: “Human connection is at the core of what we do. With so many people needing to stay indoors to protect their health, we want to provide an opportunity for our hosts to connect with our global community of guests in the only way possible right now, online.”