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FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

Take inspiration: From the Olympics 2016

Are you hooked on the Rio Olympics this summer? We are. Why not take inspiration from some of the sports and events and turn these ideas into reasons to get fitter, go outdoors more or choose to try a new type of holiday? [caption id="attachment_20323" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]Get set... to be inspired. Get set... to be inspired.[/caption]

Visit Scotland

Scottish rower Katherine Grainger has become the second most decorated female British Olympian when she won silver in the double sculls in Rio. The athlete won gold in London 2012 and three other silver Olympic medals. (Last night, at the velodrome, Laura Trott became the British woman with the most Olympic medals.) Katherine, 40, hails from Scotland and now splits her time between Edinburgh and London. She has also lived near Glasgow and the city of Aberdeen. [caption id="attachment_20325" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The golden post box dedicated to Katherine Grainger in Aberdeen. Pic credit: Colin Smith The golden post box dedicated to Katherine Grainger in Aberdeen. Pic credit: Colin Smith[/caption] Perhaps you’ll be inspired to visit Scotland on your next walking or cycling holiday and if so, make sure you stop in Aberdeen to see the red post box that was painted gold in 2012 to celebrate Katherine’s gold medal of the Olympics 2012. Another Olympics gold medallist is Andy Murray, the Scottish tennis player who triumphed in a nail-biting contest against the Argentinian, Juan Martín del Potro. Andy also won gold in London 2012 and another gold post box is dedicated to him in his hometown of Dunblane, also in Scotland.

Ride where the stars train

[caption id="attachment_20324" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]Mallorca is a hot favourite for cyclists. Mallorca is a hot favourite for cyclists.[/caption] Sir Bradley Wiggins won gold in the Men’s team Pursuit in Rio, adding another medal to his shelves and shelves of cycling accolades. It’s claimed he spends some of his time training in Mallorca. A walking or cycling trip to the Spanish island will reveal why Wiggo enjoys being there, namely great weather, smooth tarmac roads, good food and numerous places to relax and enjoy getting away from the crowds. How about a Balearics Bike and Boat holiday? Or head to Tuscany, a favourite training ground for cyclist Mark Cavendish. Mark won silver in Rio's omnium race on the track. He says of Tuscany: “The weather’s good… and the food’s great. They live and breathe cycling there, so the roads are safer to train on.” Perhaps you might enjoy Cycling Tuscany:  Chianti & Siena .

Get off the beaten track

The cross-country mountain biking takes place for both men and women this weekend. In Britain we’ll be rooting for Grant Ferguson. You don’t need to ride as fast or a furiously to enjoy the sport and there are some fantastic places to enjoy a mountain bike touring holiday in Scotland and Europe.

Walk a little more

There are two walking events in the Rio Olympics 2016, the 20km races for men and women and a 50km race for men. The men’s 20km was won by Wang Zhen. The women’s 20km and the 50km race are scheduled to take place later this week. Race walking is an interesting discipline and can be quite strange to watch. It differs from running in that it requires the competitor to maintain contact with the ground at all times and so the leading leg needs to be straightened as the foot makes contact with the ground. You don’t need to walk so fast or with such discipline as the Olympics athletes to enjoy the benefits of getting out on foot more often. And if you find you enjoy walking, who knows where it might take you? There are plenty of walking holiday options to consider and you might even like to walk in the same country, China, as the winner of the men’s 20km Olympics race.

Go Greece lightning

[caption id="attachment_20321" align="aligncenter" width="100%"]Greece has some perfect places for swimming, as well as walking. Greece has some perfect places for swimming.[/caption] He came, he swam and although he did not win gold, the favourite for the 10km marathon swim, Spyridon Gianniotis, of Greece has surely inspired a new generation of swimmers to go long distance. Spyridon took silver behind Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands. Spyridon, 36, was born in England to a Liverpudlian mum but swims for Greece. He has been at every Olympics since 2000. In open water, experience can overcome youth and speed, and Gianniotis showed this by becoming world champion both in 2011 and 2013. He secured his place with a bronze medal finish at the 2015 World Championships. Has the Greek swimmer inspired you to explore Greece, too, where the waters provide the ideal training ground for a marathon swimmer? Now, let's get back to what's happening right now in the Rio Olympics 2016...
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