Summer Olympics… in your own backyard

If you’re like me, you’re excited to see Team USA suiting up to defend our #1 medal count total from the London Olympics in 2012. Swimming, basketball, soccer, etc. are just some of the events that can be exhilarating to watch.

Weights are just one piece of Olympic-inspired fitness equipment you can find at your local Goodwill store.

The great thing about the Olympics is that many featured sports can be entered at a bargain rate, using Goodwill items!

Let’s talk about a few of the sports and what is needed to try them out:

Swimming. Pick up a pair of goggles, a swimsuit, and a towel and head to your local pool, lake, or YMCA/YWCA to emulate this year’s crop of amazing swimmers (maybe a local star, like David Plummer – seen mentioned in this Star Tribune article about Minnesota’s Olympians).

Track and field/Running. Find a pair of running shoes at your closest Goodwill or on ShopGoodwill.com and you’ll be all set! With Minneapolis’ Chain of Lakes, the West River (and East River) Parkway, and trails galore around the Twin Cities metro area, you’ll never be short of running routes.

This pair of cleats was sold on our ShopGoodwill.com site.

Basketball. How often have you watched the Minnesota Timberwolves or the stars of other teams, like Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, and thought, “I wish I could be like them!” Well, it’s tough to get to their level, but a basketball can definitely be found at many Goodwill stores around Minnesota.

Golf. Looking to be the next Olympic golf star for Team USA? Look no further than Goodwill to buy your first set of clubs. For a limited investment you can see if golf is the sport for you.

Look at the end of your local Goodwill’s sporting goods aisle for things like golf clubs and skis.

Soccer. All you need is a soccer ball and a field, along with something to mark where the goals are, and you’re all set to test your skills on the soccer field. With one of the best park systems in the nation, the Twin Cities metro is the place to find an open area to play.

Tennis. Inspired to play tennis like the pros? You can often find tennis rackets for just a few dollars. Tennis balls show up from time to time as well.

Look at all of these tennis (and badminton) rackets. These were found at our St. Paul Goodwill store.

There are many more sports that can be fun to learn (find all the sports you can see at Rio here), and buying second-hand from Goodwill means you’re saving money to test them out – along with diverting from the landfills and supporting our programs and services. It’s a win-win-win.