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International Olympic Committee

25 Apr 2023 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) have once again partnered with Airbnb to renew  the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grants programme, providing athletes with the opportunity to apply for a USD 2,000 grant to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. This year, there are 1,000 grants available – double the number offered in previous years.​

The initiative, which was first introduced in 2021 by the IOC and Olympic Worldwide Partner Airbnb to support athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to provide athletes with flexibility and funding to help them with their travel costs as they train and compete in preparation for upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Airbnb has committed USD 8 million in funding to the programme, which will run for nine years.

Kaveh Mehrabi, Director of Athletes’ Department says, “We are delighted to join forces with Airbnb again through the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant programme. The support that the Airbnb Travel Grants provide to athletes is significant in the year prior to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games particularly as most sporting events and qualifiers for the Games are getting underway. The increase in the number of grants reflects our joint vision and commitment to increase support to athletes through different means as highlighted in the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC Athletes’ Commission Strategy.”

Applications for the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grants will be open from 25 April to 25 May, and any athletes training towards an upcoming Olympic or Paralympic Games are to apply via Athlete365. The grants allow athletes to find Airbnb accommodations that suit their unique needs, enabling them to stay close to their training or competition venues.

“It takes so much pressure off”

Among the athletes to previously benefit from the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grants was Canadian freestyle skier Amy Fraser, who was able to use the funds to help her on her journey to Beijing 2022.

“The Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant helps enormously with covering the costs of our ski trips,” she says. “It takes so much pressure off because accommodation is often so expensive. For example, I had the chance to go to Whistler for a training camp, and thanks to the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant I was able to book accommodation right in the Whistler Olympic Village, which was so close to the gym and where I needed to be.”

Similarly, Dean Hewitt was able to make history at Beijing 2022 as part of the first Australian curling team ever to compete at the Olympic Winter Games, with the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant supporting his team’s qualification efforts.

“The Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant was fantastic in giving our team the means to travel to New Zealand and Canada on the road to Beijing 2022 without as much of a financial burden for accommodation,” he says. “It assisted with attending training camps and competitions while staying in ideal accommodation where we could cook our own meals, have our privacy and create good team dynamics. This was another piece of the puzzle that enabled us to qualify for the Games.

“The grant was huge for us, and we are really grateful for that. Given we have to travel out of Australia so much to compete against other countries, it really does take away a lot of the burden.”

Committed to supporting athletes

In addition to the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grants, the IOC and IPC’s partnership with Airbnb has previously resulted in the Airbnb500 travel grant, which was offered to all athletes who competed at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. More than 8,500 athletes received the Airbnb500 grant, providing them with a USD 500 Airbnb travel credit to celebrate their accomplishments and use towards unwinding after the Games or pursuing their next goals.

The programme also aligns with Olympic Agenda 2020+5, which outlined the IOC’s goal to offer innovative programmes developed in partnership with Worldwide Olympic Partners to increase support to athletes for their sporting and non-sporting careers.

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