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Explore Durham Like an Olympic Athlete

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have begun! While you may not have the stamina or physique of an Olympian, you can still get into in the spirit as you explore Durham and act like an Olympian for a day!

Posted By Heather Darnell on Feb 09, 2018

Wake Up Early

Olympic athletes are known for their dedication to waking up before sunrise to train — even when they’re on the road. You can experience this too! Stay at a fitness-focused hotel like the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Raleigh-Durham, or the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Ask for an early wake up call if you’re prone to hitting the snooze button.

Eat Healthy

Many gold medal-winning Olympic athletes prefer to eat a nutritious breakfast full of whole grains and packed with protein. Enjoy cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and egg dishes at The Refectory Café or Happy + Hale. For lunch have a poké bowl at ZenFish Poké Bar, or eat an entire rotisserie chicken at Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. Don’t worry. Olympic athletes need to keep their calorie counts up!

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Train like a Winter Olympian

For a real winter Olympics experience, try your hand at the sport of curling at Triangle Curling’s dedicated curling rink. Sign up for a one-hour "Try Curling" course, go to a "Lunch & Learn" class, or get on the rink with a "Pick-Up and Pizza" session. But if you really want to go for the gold, schedule a private training session with a curling expert.

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Massage your Sore Muscles

One of the ways Olympic athletes reduce muscle pain and increase flexibility and post-workout recovery time is with massage. Get a therapeutic sports massage at Northpointe Body Therapies, or at The Retreat. Never miss an opportunity to take care of your body — it’s the only one you have!

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Take a Nap

One great perk of acting like an Olympian is that you need recovery time! Head back to your hotel room and get some rest on a comfy bed. If you’re staying at the 21c Museum Hotel, you can even purchase one of their (new) mattresses, which has pocket springs and layers of foam and memory foam.


Olympians need souvenirs from their world travels, right? Remember your stay in Durham with gear from Runaway, locally-made food gifts from Bulldega, and handmade items by NC makers from The Mothership.

Watch the Olympics and Indulge in a Cheat Meal

Perhaps there’s nothing more American than chanting “USA! USA! USA!” with your new friends in Durham. Watch the Olympics at local bars and restaurants like Tobacco Road Sports Café, Bull McCabe’s, or Devine’s, and fill up on fries, burgers, and wings while you watch athletes compete to make their countries proud. You should be proud too. You’ve put in a hard day and lived it up like a champion! Even though you won’t be taking home a gold medal from your trip to Durham, the memories will still be golden.

For great places to watch sports in the Bull City, visit the Spectator Sports section of our website.

About the Author

Heather Darnell