Experiences that will help you realise your Olympic dreams

The Rio Olympics kicks off Friday 5 August, which means 1) there will be nothing else to watch on TV; 2) there will be a lot of people cheering and yelling at the TV; 3) we’ll hear at least one story from a friend, partner or family member about how they could have been a professional athlete. They’ll reminisce about their amazing athletic ability, how their coach told them they had promise and the word ‘gifted’ will be dropped several times. 

If only they had buckled down... Yup, if only. Because then you might be in Rio cheering them on from the stands and not on the sofa fighting over the last Malteser. So if you or someone you know missed out on living their Olympic dream, these sporting experiences will provide a taste of what shoulda, coulda, woulda been.

Fun fact: In Rio, the world's best golfers will be part of the Olympic Games for the first time in more than a century.

If only you had spent more time practicing your golf swing. If only your parents had bought you proper golf clubs for Christmas and not that plastic set... You'd be rich from doing what you love and you'd be awesome at it. Reignite your passion for golf and brush up on your skills with a series of golf lessons with a PGA professional who will assess your swing, your clubs and your mental game. Your coach will teach you the finer points of the game to bring out the best in your golfing skills so you can prove to everyone golf was your calling.

>> 3 golf lessons with a PGA Pro, Gold Coast, QLD

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Fun fact: Shooting made its Olympic debut at Athens in 1896.

Join Olympic shooter and 2004 Athens Olympics gold medalist Suzy Balogh at her shooting range and receive one-on-one tuition from instructors, most of whom are part of the Australian Olympic Shooting team. This informative and exhilarating session allows you to practice hitting moving clay targets with real 12 gauge shotguns and live ammo. Finally your sharp eye and super quick reflexes will be shared with the world!

>> Clay target shooting with live ammo, Cecil Park, NSW

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Fun fact: The tip of the fencing weapon is the second fastest moving object in sport; the first is the marksman's bullet.

Consider yourself to have precision moves almost too quick for the human eye? Sabre fencing is a fast and highly tactical combat sport which builds fitness, agility and intellectual adaptability. In this intense and exciting hands-on introductory class, you’ll learn from professional instructors and be bouting with full electronic scoring equipment within an hour, but you'll only need half that time, right?

>> Sabre fencing class with all equipment, Stanmore, NSW

Fun fact: Sailing was meant to make its Olympic debut at Athens 1896, but due to bad weather it was postponed until Paris 1900.

Sure, the sailing races at Rio will be played out against a beautiful backdrop on Guanabara Bay, but you'll get to showcase your skill and daring in sunny Mooloolaba! With a small group and a knowledgeable crew, you'll realise your professional sailing dream as you spend the day aboard a 40 foot yacht, helping out with the ropes, the steering, the sails, winches and navigating the vessel. 

>> Learn to sail a yacht, Mooloolaba, QLD

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Fun fact: Olympic canoe slalom racers are not permitted to practice on the racecourse. The first time they experience it is during competition.

It's not canoeing, but just as canoe slalom racers have to navigate their way through raging torrents so will you on this experience - only it'll be on the Yarra River... in a two person inflatable raft. You'll learn how to paddle and steer from your expert instructors, but unlike the Olympic canoe slalom racers, you'll get to take in the beautiful bushland surroundings as you paddle through valleys, gorges and stunning scenery.

>> White water kayaking along the Yarra River, Wonga Park, VIC

>> See all kayaking and canoeing experiences