The extra financial support offered by the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant was hugely valuable to helping Nicolas find accommodation appropriate for a visually impaired athlete.

He used part of his grant to attend the World Paralympic Duathlon Championship in Spain last year, where he took home a bronze medal.

You could benefit too. Applications for the 2022 round of the USD 2,000 Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant are now open.


Having the grant means I can just focus on the racing, and it removes a huge part of the travel organisation stress.

Nicolas Dewalque

Accommodation is one of the big considerations when I’m deciding whether to attend a race. As a visually impaired athlete, I race with a guide, which means I will always travel with at least one other person. If we need to stay in a hotel, I have to pay for either a twin room or two rooms. But with Airbnb, I can find something comfortable with space for everybody. We can have our own space to sleep, we can get free parking and we can have a kitchen of our own.

Opening doors

There isn’t a lot of funding available for athletes like me, so to have the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant is really valuable. I don’t necessarily get to attend all the races I want to: I can forget events in, say, Japan or South Africa, because paying for travel and accommodation for both myself and my guide is just too much, and so having the grant means I can just focus on the racing, and it removes a huge part of the travel organisation stress.

I used my Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant to help me compete at the World Paralympic Duathlon Championship in Aviles in Spain last November, and we had a really great experience. We found a lovely Airbnb in a nearby small fishing village, where Jonathan – my guide – and I could relax and fully prepare for the competition. It allowed us to compete in peak condition, and we ended up having a fantastic race and finished third.


If it wasn’t for the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant I wouldn’t have been able to race in Spain – and I wouldn’t have that World Championship bronze medal.

Nicolas Dewalque

Personal flexibility

Having more choice when it comes to accommodation gives us more options in preparing for competitions – especially when it comes to food. It’s nice to have a breakfast included when you stay at a hotel, but then you realise you never get to use it because you’re out at 6 a.m. training and you get back too late.

Having a kitchen lets you prepare food ahead of a race, it gives you a chance to enjoy the local cuisine of the country you’re in, and it allows you to cook by yourself and whenever you want. That flexibility is really valuable.

That flexibility also applies to location. A lot of my competitions are in small towns and it can be difficult to find appropriate accommodation close by, so being able to look via Airbnb opens up a lot more options.

Pushing you to the next level

I would advise anyone to take the benefit of the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant. The application process was very easy, and use of the grant is entirely flexible.

You never know what an event may bring you. If it wasn’t for the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant I wouldn’t have been able to race in Spain – and I wouldn’t have that World Championship bronze medal.

Applications are now open for the latest round of the USD 2,000 Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant, which will be awarded to 500 Olympic or Paralympic hopefuls.