Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the world has shifted — with many events, including sports, being rescheduled or held virtually. The highly anticipated 2020 Olympics was among the major functions to shift gears when it became clear that hosting large in-person events would put countless lives at risk, ESPN reported.

Since readjusting, the Olympics has joined forces with the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and Airbnb to kick off its virtual festival on July 24, the same time the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was scheduled to begin.

The online experiences, which can be booked through Airbnb, will encompass a week of interactive activities hosted by Olympians, giving fans an intimate peek into their personal lives and serving as an entrepreneurial opportunity. One of the Olympians who will be participating in the first-ever virtual event is American bobsledder Lauren Gibbs. 

Gibbs told Blavity in an exclusive interview that transitioning from corporate America with a six-figure salary to competing full-time as a bobsledder without a sustainable stream of income was an opportunity that she hadn't previously envisioned for herself.

The obstacles she faced within corporate America are among the personal testimonies she plans to share with her fans when the Olympics kicks off its virtual festival. 

"I really enjoy telling my story because it's relatable at every stage of life. My story is about looking at your life and making sure that it leaves you inspired to incorporate more things that get you out of bed and keep you up at night and lighting your soul on fire," she said.

Additionally, Gibbs said the online festival is great exposure for athletes beyond their sport.

"It reminds the public that Olympians are working day in and day out to be the best for our country on the day of competition," she said, adding that her own exposure to fans had been limited to roughly 30 seconds on TV.

The silver medalist said although she grew up playing sports, she didn't imagine herself being a brakeman bobsledder for the U.S Olympic team.

"Long story short, it was a joke," Gibbs said, speaking of how she got into the sport.

"A friend asked how much I could weight lift and said you should bobsled," she added.

The simple question would later lead to Gibbs' journey into competing at the Olympic level for the United States and fully embracing an opportunity that she said she "didn't know [she] had."

Her path to bobsledding wasn't short of challenges. Entering the competitive sport at 30 years old, Gibbs said she quickly learned that she required more time to physically prepare her body compared to her teammates. 

"Their body doesn't hurt the way mine does, and they don't have to warm up for as long as I do before training," she told Blavity.

The Olympian said she has pocketed life lessons along her journey that she believes will resonate with millennials. Since her first bobsled ride, Gibbs said she has learned the importance of being vulnerable, sharing your dreams and not being afraid to ask for help.

Gibbs said the partnership with Airbnb will allow athletes to continue to train and compete for the country while having the flexibility that most jobs can't offer due to the strenuous schedule.

As an athlete who trains full-time with a focus on treatment and nutrition, Gibbs said going from her six-figure salary to being unemployed with all the same expenses taught her a lot.

Naomi Osaka, Allyson Felix and Tatyana McFadden are also expected to take part in the virtual festival. Starting on Thursday, fans can choose from over 100 online experiences to book on Airbnb. As a continued source of income, some athletes are expected to continue their online experiences after the festival concludes.