Think you've got what it takes to be a champion? Follow these steps to make your dream a reality.
Step 1: Pick a sport Pick an Olympic sport according to your age, training, experience, and athleticism. Being a middle-aged couch potato doesn't necessarily disqualify you; not all sports require the same level of physical prowess.
Step 2: Train Once you've chosen a sport, find a place to train. Join a gym or recreational center to take classes and immerse yourself in the sport.
Step 3: Join the NGB Join your sport's national governing body, or NGB. In the U.S. go to teamusa.org to register and get information on league events.
Step 4: Get a coach Find a coach at your local training facility, or through the NGB. A coach will help you take your skills to the next level and guide you through the complexities of competition.
Step 5: Start competing Enter local and regional tournaments; then work your way up to national championships.
TIP: Talk to Olympic coaches there for insider advice on making the team.
Step 6: Find financing Find financing for sports that require you to train full-time. The most common strategies are athletic scholarships, corporate sponsorships, and residencies at official Olympic training centers.
Step 7: Qualify for the Olympics Qualify for the games by attending tryouts, winning a qualifying competition, maintaining a high national ranking, or being selected by the coaches of the national team. Now keep your eyes on the prize and go for the gold!
FACT: The oldest Olympian was Oscar Swahn, who was 72 when he won a silver medal in the running deer double-shot team event.