NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- The London Summer Olympics are as much a celebration of sports and athleticism as they are a reminder of all the activity many of us just aren't getting.
Spend much of your early life hitting the pool at 5 a.m. just to get smoked by Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte? No thanks. Spend your teenage years in gyms and on courts every day and taking calls and promises from college coaches during every spare moment just to find out you're no LeBron James? Again, pass.
If you've lived a full enough life to easily afford a home of your own with a lot of excess space and land, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to replicate your own Olympics without troublesome elements such as sponsors, competitors or fans. The professionals at real estate site
have compiled this list of homes with Olympic-worthy facilities for armchair athletes who want to go for the gold, but want their bed close enough to go for a nap afterward:
This 24,000-square-foot home is an Olympic facility unto itself. The estate has an entire sports pavilion complete with swimming pools, a full weight room and an indoor handball/basketball court with its own viewing lounge. The centerpiece, however, is a regulation lighted hardcourt tennis court with a blue top similar to that used during the U.S. Open. For aspiring Rafael Nadals and Williams sisters, that's a far greater perk that this property's two gourmet kitchens, two formal dining rooms, four full-service bars, two outdoor chef-appointed barbecues, formal library, formal living room, great room with piano bar, theater with concessions counter, game and pool room, old world wine cellar and custom sauna. Just consider the nine bedroom suites and 16 bathrooms the athletes' village.
Anyone with vocal cords and a fat checkbook can order up an Olympic-sized swimming pool, but it takes a special somebody to realize they won't be racing the Aussies and Russians any time soon and cut the whole thing down to a two-lane affair. The owners of this property reached just such a conclusion when they built their regulation lap pool outside their 5,850-square-foot home with gorgeous views of America's Biggest Little City. The adjacent outdoor hot tub gives competitors a place to relax after beating their best time, while the family room's exercise area, wet bar and surround sound system is a great spot to wait for the postgame results.
High dive? Please. It's just not in human nature to take yourself to the loftiest heights possible and heave yourself off, twisting into pikes along the way. This 5,000-square-foot home in Adams gets it right by limiting the dive to just above the waterline and letting divers take in the horizon views of the surrounding 10-acre property. That's a more alluring proposition for divers staying in the 2,300-square foot pool/guest house with a herringbone pattern brick floor, hearth with a gas fireplace, built-in cabinets with butcher block tops, a loft large enough for four queen-sized beds, a brick-covered patio and a wood-burning brick outdoor fireplace. The bathroom is modeled after a locker room and features a steam shower and sauna to complement the outdoor shower, patio swing and outdoor spa outside. Let the aspiring Greg Louganises belly flop their way to glory. You have a sunset to watch.
Think trampolining was just Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel's way of attracting more lecherous eyeballs to
The Man Show
by showcasing girls on trampolines? Nope, it's been an Olympic sport for more than a decade and is taken quite seriously by the athletes tucking and piking their way to the gold. It was apparently taken quite seriously by the owners of this 3,900-square-foot home who put an in-ground trampoline in their backyard. Parents whose kids aren't so big on bouncing also have a pool and a full backyard soccer field to offer their aspiring Olympian.
Las Vegas has been a bronze-medal housing market at best since the housing crisis, as evidenced by the asking price on this 10,000-square-foot home that last sold for $3.05 million in 2010. Yet there's still top-podium potential for this palace and its automated control system, eight-seat theater, outdoor kitchen, 14-camera security system and go-kart track with caves and tunnels. The combination handball/basketball court isn't so great for an outside shooter's perimeter game, but low-post players who pretend to be Dwight Howard on their days off will have no problem throwing down dunks in the paint.
What do you do with your dreams of Karch Kiraly-style beach volleyball stardom if you're in an ocean-deprived state such as Pennsylvania? Improvise. Though this is a fairly modest four-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot home, its four-acre plot is home to a huge swimming pool, a barn and a regulation beach volleyball court. Just truck in some sand every so often and you'll be setting and spiking all summer long.
When you're tucked away in a 13,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom, 12-bathroom home in Bel-Air, you're more likely to be a studio exec who greenlights a biopic about an Olympian than an actual Olympian. In a state once governed by a famed powerlifter, however, two guest apartments, a theater, a game room, a portico-lined pool and an outdoor living room are no substitute for a ripped physique. That's why this gated home comes with a weight room large enough to train a small country's weightlifting team and lined with enough mirrors to keep muscle admirers occupied for a lifetime.
A great archery range requires two things: Lots of room for error and very few people. This 1,700-acre ranch has both to go along with its 5,800-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home. Fire away all day and hit nothing but hay bales and barren earth. When that gets tedious, play a round on the nine-hole golf course, ride your favorite horse at the equestrian facilities, target some clay on the skeet range, practice your serve on the tennis courts or take the fishing boat and party barge out on the 26-acre lake. Forget about pretending it's the Olympics: A property this size could host the Olympics.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.
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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.