As part of its World Olympic Partnership, first announced in November 2019, Airbnb launches the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant approved by the Olympic Committee International (IOC). Up to 500 athletes per year will receive Airbnb promotional credits of $ 2,000 that can be used for training, qualification, and other travel accommodations for the next eight years. This corresponds to direct support totalling USD 8 million over the life of the partnership.
“Our work with the International Olympic Committee is focused on dedicated support for individual athletes who are at the center of the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. With thousands of athletes already using Airbnb for travel needs related to training, qualification and competition, this new program will provide much needed additional economic support”Catherine Powell, Airbnb Head of Hosting
Airbnb has a long track record of economically empowering communities. Even in tough times like the pandemic, Airbnb has been a major source of income for thousands of everyday Hosts, including Hosts who only shared their space after the pandemic started and who have already made more than $1 billion. In the same way Hosts are at the heart of Airbnb, athletes are at the core of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. To realize that many athletes have also felt the effects of the pandemic, this program will expand Airbnb’s current support for the travel and accommodation needs of athletes before and around the Games.
“The athletes are the heart of the Olympic Movement, and we work with all stakeholders to support them at every stage of their career. In addition to the funding and programs provided thanks to the overall Worldwide TOP Programme and the Olympic Solidarity, we have been working with TOP partners to develop innovative programs to support athletes. We are very proud that together with Airbnb, we have developed the Olympian and Paralympian Experiences programs and now the new Travel Grant. Through these two initiatives, athletes have the opportunity to create their own revenue streams and directly benefit from Airbnb’s partnership with the Olympic Movement.”Kirsty Coventry, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission
Airbnb’s partnership with the IOC and IPC spans nine years and includes five Olympic and Paralympic Games. Because the partnership under the TOP Partnership Program is focused on helping athletes and sports around the world, Airbnb and the IOC have so far provided $ 40 million in direct support to athletes. In addition to these funds allocated to the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant, this $ 40 million is the source of funding for other athlete-focused initiatives unique to Airbnb including:
Olympian and Paralympian Experiences on Airbnb
In 2020 Airbnb and the IOC launched the Olympic and Paralympic Experiences category, one of the largest long-term athlete support programs with TOP partner to create direct income opportunities by hosting athletes from around the world. Sports and physical activity, these experiences offer athletes the opportunity to generate income while sharing their passions and sports with guests directly on the Airbnb Experiences platform. When the Tokyo Games were postponed last summer, Airbnb organized the Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences Festival in July 2020, with more than 200 athletes from around the world took part in spreading the Olympic and Paralympic spirit among fans around the world.
Accessible Stays for Paralympians
Like many other people with disabilities, Paralympic athletes are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Investments by Airbnb will directly support Paralympians and aspiring Paralympians, with up to 8,000 stays to meet their specific travel needs. Airbnb is taking important steps to promote accessible travel and will work directly with IPC and Paralympic athletes to not only improve accessible housing supply but also to raise awareness and promote inclusion.
Olympian and Paralympian Celebratory Gift
Pursuing the Olympic and Paralympic dream is often a costly endeavour that requires significant travel and accommodation costs, and Airbnb will play a key role in offsetting some of those costs for Olympic and Paralympic athletes to compete at the highest level. Olympic and Paralympic athletes who compete at any of the five Olympic or Paralympic Games throughout the partnership will receive a $ 500 promotional credit from Airbnb to celebrate their achievement.
The remaining committed partnership funds go directly to the IOC, a non-profit organization, for the organization to allocate according to the goals of the TOP Programme, which aims to promote the sport around the world.
Applications for the 2021 Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant are now open to all elite athletes, Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls on www.airbnb.com/athletetravelgrant. Applications will close on May 14, 2021, at 11:59 pm PDT. Each year, members of the IOC will select up to 500 applicants based on the personal statement provided in each individual’s application. Applicants’ geographic location and sport will also be considered to ensure diversity across recipients. Preference will also be given to Olympic Solidarity scholarship recipients. Terms & Conditions apply.