If you’ve ever wanted to try out a new sport, Olympians Niki and Neil Adams are offering fans the chance to learn some basic judo techniques through the Olympian & Paralympian Online Experiences available on Worldwide Olympic Partner Airbnb’s platform.
Olympians Niki and Neil Adams may not be competing at the highest level of judo anymore, but the married couple’s love for the sport remains undiminished.
Niki, a 1996 Pan American champion who competed in the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, and her husband Neil, a 1981 world champion who won silver medals at both the Olympic Games Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984, have remained very active within the sport since retiring from competition, working as commentators, authors and coaches, and are passionate about nurturing the next generation of judokas.
Now, the couple are taking advantage of the Olympian & Paralympian Online Experiences available on Worldwide Olympic Partner Airbnb’s platform to share their passion for judo with people all over the world through their one-hour virtual coaching sessions.
“We've created our dojo here [at home], so we welcome people as our guests, into our private dojo,” explains Niki. “We teach people how to fall safely and show a little bit of grappling groundwork. There's a lot going on in our sport, and it's a full body sport, so it's hard to show everything in an hour, but it's a good little taster. We have fun.”
As well as having fun and teaching guests some basic judo techniques, Niki believes the Experience also gives people a chance to tap into the more mindful elements of the sport.
“It's a holistic sport in that it combines mind, body and spirit,” she explains. “You've got to pay attention, you’ve got to be mindful and present and you've got to concentrate, because there's a lot going on. What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my head? My body? And where do I put my feet? So, it's a good mindful exercise – it’s about being in the moment and provides a little bit of escapism at the same time.”
Niki’s effervescent personality makes her the perfect host, and the emphasis is well and truly on ensuring that all their virtual guests enjoy the session – no matter what their experience or fitness level may be.
“We're sweating and we're working out, but I always say that I guarantee you leave with a smile on your face,” she explains. “I make sure that you feel good when you leave, and we just have a really good time. One thing people might get worried about with an Olympic Experience is that it's going to be really intense, but we're not intense. I'm not expecting you to learn how to throw like Neil or I within an hour. But if we can get those little points across then great. The most important thing is that you leave with a smile on your face and having a great time.”
For Niki and Neil, hosting their Olympian & Paralympian Online Experience on Airbnb enables them to share their passion for judo with a wider audience than ever before, which is one of the main reasons they were keen to get involved with the programme.
“I’ve really enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life,” she explains. “And I get such a kick out of teaching, especially when somebody new says, ‘Wow, that's great’, or they have a little ‘lightbulb moment’. So, if I can bring something different to people and they go away thinking, ‘That was really cool’ or, ‘Oh, I really enjoyed that’, then I’m happy.”
It’s not often you get the chance to be trained by two Olympians when you decide to try a new sport, but, as Niki adds: “If you're going to learn something, why not learn it from somebody who's done it at the top level?”
And now, thanks to the Olympian & Paralympian Online Experiences available through Airbnb, you can do just that.
Olympian & Paralympian Experiences
With communities around the world staying at home to protect their own health and the health of others, Olympian & Paralympian Online Experiences developed with Airbnb provide a new way for users to enjoy unique activities – such as workouts and mentoring sessions led by Olympians and Paralympians virtually – and for athlete hosts to share their passion, connect with fans and earn income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Want to connect with other Olympians virtually?
Explore all of the Online Experiences hosted by Olympians & Paralympians here.
Or are you an Olympian or a Paralympian interested in hosting your own experience? Let us help you get started here!