Olympians are strong, athletic, and adored by millions. Icons such as Prince Harry and Kate Middleton cheer for them. Stars like Justin Bieber tweet them. Influencers like Grumpy Cat turn their frowns upside down at them. They are glorified. They are honored. They are Tivoed. In short, they are like sports Gods.
But, here at GoAbroad, we aren’t envious of any of that. We’d actually prefer not to be broadcast in slow motion while pushing our bodies to the max.
Do you know what we are jealous of? Their travel.
Olympians and elite athletes get to compete across the globe. Not only do Olympians get to see the world, but they get to have the world brought to them, too. They get to compete side by side with athletes from all corners of the globe, making connections, growing, and being exposed to foreign cultures in truly unique ways. While not all of these athletes can communicate with one another, they all have a shared understanding of sport and what it means to compete. And what it means to love the push.
That’s why we’re jealous.
But we aren’t going to sit and sulk in a green puddle of envy, and neither should you. Anyone can travel, and GoAbroad.com can help. We’ve complied a list of all of the summer Olympics locations; the countries that are chosen by a fancy-schmancy Olympics committee, so you know they’re worth the visit.
What’s even better? Unlike Olympic athletes, who are limited to a hotel room, a training facility, and the big stage, you’ll be free to explore the entirety of each location! You won’t even have to worry about paparazzi. Time to exercise that freedom (even if you’re not technically exercising in other ways).
1896 – Athens, Greece
1900 – Paris, France
1904 – St. Louis, Missouri, United States
1906 – Athens, Greece (Perfect for history nuts or volunteers!)
1908 – London, England
1912 – Stockholm, Sweden
1920 – Antwerp, Belgium
1924 – Paris, France (A hotspot for international internships!)
1928 – Amsterdam, Holland
1932 – Los Angeles, California, United States
1936 – Berlin, Germany
1948 – London, England
1952 – Helsinki, Finland (A highly underrated place to study abroad)
1956 – Melbourne, Australia
1960 – Rome, Italy (Care to brush up on your Italiano?)
1964 – Tokyo, Japan
1968 – Mexico City, Mexico
1972 – Munich, Germany
1976 – Montreal, Canada (Did someone say French?)
1980 – Moscow, Russia
1984 – Los Angeles, California, United States
1988 – Seoul, South Korea (Join the masses, make millions of won, and teach English abroad in Korea!)
1992 – Barcelona, Spain
1996 – Atlanta, Georgia, United States
2000 – Sydney, Australia (An adventure travel destination unlike any other)
2004 – Athens, Greece (again!? It must be a sign)
2008 – Beijing, China
2012 – London, England
2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (It’s not too late! Sign up for a short-term volunteer project)
So while you may shy away from Olympic sized pools or time trials that don’t allow for 12 minute miles, you can still let your inner Olympian shine by following in their well-traveled footsteps. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket to an actual summer Olympics, take advantage of the mini-world microcosm that surrounds you. Chat with other international visitors like yourself, high five someone from somewhere you can’t even pronounce, commit to squeezing every last ounce of global love possible from your adventures abroad.
After all, you never know when you’ll accidentally strike up a conversation with a bonafide Olympic athlete, your ticket to future travels (and lost races).