Olympics at home

Olympics at home

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 06:  Sopita Tanasan of Thailand competes in the Women's 48kg Group A Final on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 2 on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

How can you compete with the best athletes in the world? You probably can’t. But we all have an opportunity to surpass ourselves and go further than we have before, even without leaving your home.

If you are an Olympic athlete about to represent your country in a sport, congratulations. If not, you are probably like us. We are all set to watch the diving, running, and archery with a sense of awe and a healthy dose of “aw man, I can’t do that!”

 

However, there are many ways to challenge yourself, from engaging in traditional Olympic sports, to creating ones that should exist but don’t. Find some suggestions below ranging from sports you’ll need equipment for to ones that require nothing but a sense of adventure.

Olympic sports

Dance for the gold

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 16:   Robbie Williams on location for a video shoot on August 16, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Moss/FilmMagic)

Robbie Williams (photo by Alex Moss/Getty Images)

Okay, so break dancing is not an Olympic sport, but if you haven’t heard the news, it will be. Yes, breakdancing is set to debut as “Breaking” at the Paris 2024 games. Thanks to YouTube, there are a zillion videos on how to learn breaking at home. Here’s one about how to learn to do Windmills. All you need is a floor and a body. Start now, and maybe we’ll see you in Paris?

Ping Pong

No backyard? No problem. You can go spendy and get a regulation ping pong table or invest in a table tennis conversion set to make your dining room table into a ping pong arena. A partner is needed, but in our experience, nearly anyone can be roped into playing ping pong.

Badminton

Minsk , Belarus - 24 June 2019; Rachael Darragh of Ireland in action against Agnes Korosi of Hungary during their Women's Badminton Singles group stage match at Falcon Club on Day 4 of the Minsk 2019 2nd European Games in Minsk, Belarus. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Rachael Darragh (photo By Seb Daly via Getty Images)

If you have a backyard, badminton is awesome. Personally, last year I got a badminton set for less than $100, and the family got so into it. We then went and bought lawn marking paint and a roller to apply it. Badminton is slower and doesn’t rely on power as much as tennis, which makes it a great choice for different body types and ages to compete. Plus, the wind kicking up always adds an element of surprise.

Weightlifting, home edition

Olympic weightlifting involves a barbell and lofting hundreds of pounds above your head. We are not suggesting this. However, there’s fun to be had in getting some equal weight household objects and lifting them in the style of weightlifters. For example, take a tennis ball in each hand and do a snatch or a clean and jerk lift. Essentially, the competition revolves around who can start in a squat and then mimic lifting in the most olympic way. Even without the weight, getting those squats in is a good workout. The tennis balls will be fun to watch when you do the dramatic drop of your pretend barbell.

Basketball

Most parks have hoops, but even without a hoop, some pavement is all you need for dribbling exercises. There are many to be found on the web. If you want more technique, the Steph Curry Masterclass has some very neat drills and tips for ball handling.

Explore sports that aren’t Olympic… yet

Cornhole

This wildly popular game in America with beanbags and a hole even has an official association and professional leagues. There are many tournaments, and the championship is even shown on ESPN. You can buy the official boards or go all crafty and make your own. It’s bean bags and a board with a hole… you can do this!

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Now that you have a slew of ways to hold your own summer games at home, the rest is up to you. Hold an opening ceremony with a flashlight torch relay, dream up your own events, and create imaginary countries for yourself and your loved ones. We look forward to hearing about the triumphs of places that should exist like Susieland, Antonioania, the United States of cousin Flore.

 

Note: The information above is not a replacement for the opinion of a medical professional. It is not intended to help you diagnose or treat a disease. Don’t forget to always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.

Susie Felber

Susie is a writer, comedian, and producer who has worked in TV, film, theater, radio, video games, and online. As the daughter of a hard-working M.D., she's had a lifelong interest in health and is currently on a personal mission to "walk the walk" and get her writer's body in better shape.
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