Athletes get in Olympic Day spirit by trying new sports

What happens when two Olympic athletes swap sports? From football and gymnastics to shooting and boxing, and from archery and curling to BMX and equestrian, a few courageous Olympic athletes go outside of their comfort zones to find out.

In advance of Olympic Day, celebrated worldwide on 23 June, the Olympic Channel presents “Sports Swap” where two world-class athletes try each other’s sports with surprising results. In each episode of “Sports Swap”, an Olympic athlete is given just one day to learn a new sport from a fellow Olympian, and then challenged to perform their new skills.

The first episode features Team USA footballer and three-time Olympic gold medallist Heather O’Reilly and Olympic gold medallist in rhythmic gymnastics Margarita Mamum of the Russian Federation trying each other’s sport for the first time in their lives.

“I have never used a ribbon in that way. It was completely new to me, completely foreign to me,” said O’Reilly. “I’m such a competitor and perfectionist, and in something like this you just have to let all that go and just have fun and try to learn and do the best that you can.”

In addition to learning new athletic skills, the athletes also picked up a few training and lifestyle tips that could be incorporated into their daily routines.

“I’d love to go boxing again,” said Olympic shooter Amber Hill who swapped sports with Team GB teammate Joe Joyce. “I’ve just got such a buzz off it, and maybe I’ll build it into my exercise regimen as well.”

The first six episodes of Sports Swap are now available exclusively on the Olympic Channel mobile app for Android and iOS devices and at

Olympic Channel Episode Guide: Sports Swap

Episode 1 – Sports Swap: Football vs. Gymnastics with Heather O’Reilly (USA) and Margarita Mamun (RUS)

Episode 2 – Sports Swap: Table Tennis vs. Hockey with Britt Eerland (NED) and Blair Tarrant (NZL)

Episode 3 – Sports Swap: Boxing vs. Shooting with Joe Joyce (GBR) and Amber Hill (GBR)

Episode 4 – Sports Swap: Archery vs. Curling with Lisa Unruh (GER) and NIklas Edin (SWE)

Episode 5 – Sports Swap: BMX vs. Equestrian with Elke Vanhoof (BEL) and Daniel Bluman (COL)

Episode 6 – Sports Swap: Athletics vs. Track Cycling with Naomi Sedney (NED) and Elis Litglee (NED)

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