Olympic partner Airbnb announces $ 8 million athlete travel scholarship program

Up to 500 athletes per year will receive $ 2,000 (£ 1,400 / € 1,600) in promotional credit with Olympic Partner (TOP) member Airbnb, as part of a new program to support travel, accommodation and training.

The Airbnb athlete travel grant, supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will span the next eight years, for a total of $ 8 million (£ 5.7 million / £ 6.6 million euros) in direct support throughout the life of the partnership.

“Our work with the International Olympic Committee is focused on providing dedicated support to the individual athletes who are at the center of the Olympic and Paralympic Movement,” said Catherine Powell, Head of Accommodation, Airbnb.

“With thousands of athletes already using Airbnb for travel needs related to training, qualifying and competing, this new program will provide much needed additional economic support. “

Kirsty Coventry, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chairperson, said: “We are very proud that with Airbnb we have developed the Olympic and Paralympic Experiences Program and now the new Travel Grant.

“Through these two initiatives, athletes have the opportunity to create their own sources of income and directly benefit from Airbnb’s partnership with the Olympic Movement.

Kirsty Coventry, IOC Athletes' Commission Chairperson, welcomed the announcement of the Airbnb athlete travel grant © Getty Images
Kirsty Coventry, IOC Athletes’ Commission Chairperson, welcomed the announcement of the Airbnb athlete travel grant © Getty Images

Airbnb’s partnership with the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spans nine years and spans five Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Airbnb joined the IOC’s TOP program in 2019, becoming the 14th member

To date, Airbnb and the IOC say they have allocated $ 40m (£ 28.5m / € 33m) from global sponsorship to direct athlete support.

In addition to these funds earmarked for the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant, this $ 40 million is also the source of funding for other athlete-focused initiatives unique to Airbnb.

In 2020, Airbnb and the IOC launched the Olympian and Paralympian Experiences program, enabling athletes to generate income while sharing their passions and sport with guests directly on the Airbnb Experiences platform.

Airbnb is committed to investing to support Paralympians and Aspiring Paralympians with up to 8,000 stays that meet their specific travel needs, involving accessible travel and accommodation.

And in partnership with the IOC and IPC, all Olympians and Paralympians who participate in each of the five Olympic or Paralympic Games throughout the partnership will receive $ 500 (£ 360 / € 415) in Airbnb promotional credit to celebrate their accomplishment.

Applications for the 2021 Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant are now open to all elite athletes, Olympians, Paralympians and Games hopefuls.

Applications will close on May 14, more details are available here.

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