Olympic Dreams

Relive the Olympics' most memorable moments in some seriously dynamic cities
London
London
Athens
Athens
Beijing
Beijing
Sydney
Sydney
Atlanta
Atlanta
Tokyo
Tokyo

LONDON
LIVE THE DREAM:
During the test events for the upcoming Olympics in London this year, 19-year-old British wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft broke a record for the T34 category 100m race, at 18.56 seconds.  To score a PB like Hannah, burn some calories racing through Hyde Park and taking in the picturesque scenery.
STAY:  The Sanctum Soho Hotel London (sanctumsoho.com, Dhs1,885 per night) in London’s trendy Soho area is ideal for a unique rock star glamour hotel experience. After your run, you can ease your muscles in the outdoor Jacuzzi, before partying the night away at the rooftop garden and lounge bar.
EAT: Ditch Britain’s famous fish and chips for a trip to Manna (mannav.com), a vegetarian restaurant with a gourmet twist in London’s Primrose Hill.
FLY: British Airways from Dhs2,600. Visit britishairways.com to book.

ATHENS
LIVE THE DREAM:
  Ryk Neethling of South Africa stunned the world in 2004 at the Athens games when he broke a world record in the  4 x 100 freestyle relay and took home gold for South Africa – the first in 12 years. To check out the scene of Ryk’s win, head to the Athens Olympics Sports Complex (stadia.gr/oaka-b/oaka-b.html). Then visit the Balux Sea Side club (baluxclub.gr ) to practise your butterfly. 
STAY: Semiramus Hotel (semiramis.athenshotels.it, from Dhs900 a night) in Athens designed by Karim Rashid may be one of the brightest, quirkiest hotels you have laid your eyes on.
EAT: Spondi Restaurant (spondi.gr) in Athens has not just one but two Michelin stars. How’s that for medal winning?
FLY: Fly Qatar Airways direct from Dhs3,500 return. Visit qatarairways.com for more details.

BEIJING
LIVE THE DREAM:
  At the Beijing games in 2008 we saw 41-year-old Dara Torres win a silver medal for the 4 x 100 freestyle relay. She became the oldest female swimmer to stand on the podium.To reenact Dara’s swimming triumph, visit Beijing’s National Aquatic Center where the Olympic pool is housed. Then take a dip at the Watercube Waterpark (water-cube.com/en), all located at the Aquatic Center.
STAY: The Opposite House (theoppositehouse.com, from Dhs1,400 a night), with its contemporary and colourful vibe, offers luxurious accommodation in Beijing’s Chaoyang District.
EAT:  Try the Beijing Vegan Hut in Chaoyang District which is renowned for the best stir-fried cabbage in the city. Call 400 700 4258 to book.
FLY: Emirates direct to Beijing. Around Dhs3,000 return.

SYDNEY
LIVE THE DREAM:
British diabetic rower Steven Redgrave became the only rower to win five consecutive gold medals during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. To reenact Redgrave’s rowing victory, head to the beach in Rose Bay next to Lyne Park to rent kayaks and go kayaking in the Sydney Harbour, and enjoy some secluded beaches along the way.
STAY: Blue Sydney (tajhotels.com/sydney, from Dhs740 per night), with its cutting edge style, is irresistible among Sydney’s boutique hotel scene. Located in the happening area of Woolloomooloo right on the wharf, get ready to brush shoulders with the latte set as they visit the trendy restaurants, bars, and the Old Fitzroy Theatre.
EAT: Brunch in Sydney wouldn’t be the same if it’s not at Catalina in Rose Bay (catalinarosebay.com.au). Tuck into freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters and Cone Bay saltwater barramundi, while watching the visiting pelicans and taking in the breathtaking views of the harbour.
FLY: Singapore Airlines fly via Singapore from Dhs6,300. See singaporeair.com.

ATLANTA
LIVE THE DREAM:
Russia’s Svetlana Masterkova showed her metal at the Atlanta Games in 1996. She broke the female track world mile record at 4:12.56, and took home the gold for the 1,500 metre and 800 metre races. Take a run around Chattahoochee River National Park to channel Svetlana.
STAY: Skip the large hotels and book into the renovated mansion, Stonehurst Place in Atlanta (stonehurstplace.com, from Dhs660 a night). This chic and unique contemporary B&B, comes with every amenity a girl needs, including oversized bathrooms.
EAT: Bacchanalia (starprovisions.com) is a contemporary American restaurant that uses only organic, seasonal ingredients to create such dishes as wild salmon with cucumber relish and blood orange soufflé. Delish. 
FLY: Emirates to Dallas, then a connecting flight to Atlanta from Dhs7,400 return.

TOKYO
LIVE THE DREAM:
Russian Larissa Latynina collected her 18th gold medal for gymnastics at Tokyo in 1964. She is the only Olympian to have ever won as many as 18 gold medals. If you’re not ready to do cartwheels through the park, check out Okuni Yoga – a form of yoga and Japanese dance that combines Japanese Samurai swords. Call (03) 6415 8041 to book.
STAY: The Park Hyatt Tokyo (tokyo.park.hyatt.com, from Dhs1,900 per night), made famous by ScarJo with Lost in Translation, offers medal-winning views of the city. Or if immersing yourself into Japanese culture is more of a priority, try the Ryokan Sawanoya (sawanoya.com, from Dhs460 per night), a traditional Japanese inn, complete with tatami mats, futons and Japanese baths.
EAT: For an early morning start, head to Tsukiji Fish Market (tsukiji-market.or.jp) to watch the traders in action and sample some of wares from the sushi stalls that line the edges of the market. It may be the freshest sushi you’ve ever eaten.FLY: Cathay Pacific flies via Hong Kong from Dhs2,200. Visit cathaypacific.com.

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