IOC, IPC host week-long summer festival of online experiences
Updated 11:32, 17-Jul-2020
Zhang Tingting
Creative photo of Olympics /VCG

Creative photo of Olympics /VCG

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on Thursday that they would host a five-day event called Summer Festival of Olympian & Paralympian Online Experiences from July 24, the original date that the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 were scheduled to begin.

The event is meant to bring the Olympics and Paralympics' spirit online with a curated program of activities hosted by athletes at a time when the Tokyo 2020 has been postponed for one year.

It can also generate income for Olympic and Paralympic athletes who host these online experiences and provide a way for fans and the public to connect and interact with the athletes, learn about sports, exercises, culture, among others and get inspired.

"The Olympic Games bring the whole world together and, while we will all have to wait one more year to celebrate in Tokyo, the Olympic flame continues to be the light at the end of the dark tunnel humankind is currently going through," said IOC President Thomas Bach. "It demonstrates that we are stronger together. This festival is a great platform to unite and inspire the world in the spirit of friendship and solidarity this summer. The IOC puts the athletes at the heart of the Olympic Movement and supports them at every stage of their journey."

"Paralympians and Para athletes are masters of innovation and finding creative solutions to daily challenges they face," said IPC President Andrew Parsons. "The Summer Festival of Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences celebrates this tenacity and gives Para athletes a platform to share their stories to empower others, while also offering a new earning opportunity especially needed during these difficult times."

The five-day program will start with an opening ceremony on July 24 and finish with a closing ceremony on July 30, with five days of virtual experiences in between.

There are going to be more than 100 Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences. Athletes from over 20 countries and regions will participate, such as Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, swimming athlete who attended the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016 Yusra Mardini, British triathlete Jonny Brownlee, American Paralympian Lex Gillette, Italian track cyclist Elia Viviani, South African surfer Jordy Smith and Indian tennis player Sania Mirza.

Chinese world record sprinter Xie Zhenye will host a session on running skills and his Olympic experience on July 28.

While most events will be one-off, some athletes will continue to offer online experiences after the festival finishes.

In addition to the Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences, local hosts in Japan will offer guests a series of virtual events to explore the country and its cultures and traditions.

The IOC and IPC collaborate with the Olympic sponsor Airbnb to organize the festival. The company's website hosts information about the festival and booking for the events will open on the website from July 22.