Bike Trails at Swope Park in Kansas City

Nothing inspires comradery and love for country quite like the Olympics. Each nation’s greatest athletes gather in one place every four years to compete for gold while the rest of the world watches on in amazement. With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games underway in Rio, many in the Kansas City area will be inspired to get out and train like their favorite athletes. Thankfully, whether you’re in town for a visit or live in the area, KC has everything you need to get your Olympics fix.

Here are some of the best places in town to train:

Dive in

Breaststroke or backstroke, you’ll be able to perfect your swim technique at Park Hill Aquatic Center, only 14 miles north of Downtown KC. One of the most well-equipped pool facilities in town, the aquatic center accommodates swimmers of all ages, and flexible hours means you’ll be able to get a workout in seven days a week. 

Photo courtesy of Park Hill School District.

Hit the Trail—or the Road

Cycling has deep roots in Olympic history, as it’s been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since 1896. If you take more liking to the trails, try out Swope Park for 13.5-mile mountain bike trail system and some beautiful scenery. Meanwhile, road cyclists roll along the streets surrounding Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, a long loop that makes for a great workout.  

Target Practice Makes Perfect

Amateur and professional archers alike will find plenty of outdoor target ranges to practice among the 1,600-acre Shawnee Mission Park. Lessons are also available for those in search of professional guidance. Prefer training indoors? Try Archery Excellence, a slick range in Independence complete with a pro shop and learning center geared toward young archers still learning the ropes. 

Train your Topspin

A relatively new event to the Summer Olympic Games, table tennis has grown in popularity in KC, as players post up at the Athletic Club of Overland Park for open-play matches three days a week, plus several annual tournaments throughout the year. All skill levels are welcome thanks to a staff skilled at matching players of similar ability. Reserve tables by calling ahead or stopping by the front desk. 

Serve up Spikes

Martin City’s Volleyball Beach is a popular spot for volleyball fans thanks to three league skill levels and fantastic sand courts. Leagues run year-round, making it as convenient as ever to train like your favorite sand volleyball Olympians. Volleyball Beach caters to full teams as well as individual players looking to join a crew short on bodies. Plus, youth leagues help young setters and hitters jumpstart their careers. 

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @manda1411vb.


Boost your backhand

Amidst the shoppers and joggers on the Country Club Plaza, tennis players hone their skills at Plaza Tennis Center. The facility boasts 14 outdoor hard courts with the option for nighttime play as well. Lessons, classes, leagues and tournaments are all options to consider, and with The Plaza’s beautiful Spanish-style architecture in the background, it’s hard to find a better place to improve your backhand. 

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @d_a_1_k_1

Sprint to the Finish

The men’s and women’s 100-meter may be the most exciting event in all of sports, no more so than in the Summer Olympic Games. Runners can capture the excitement of these events at the Johnson County Community College Outdoor Track, a 400-meter track that includes eight lanes and is open to the public for recreational running. (Keep in mind that due to several events that take place at JCCC, the best time of day to run is before noon.)


You can train like the greats this season, because regardless of your sport or skillset, Kansas City has the facilities, infrastructure and community for just about every Summer Olympic Games event. 

Contact Visit KC