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Barcelona to host world's first sports theme park

By Barry Neild, CNN
August 4, 2014 -- Updated 0758 GMT (1558 HKT)
Details of a new sports-based theme park in Barcelona are sketchy, but promotional images show visitors taking part in virtual swimming races. Details of a new sports-based theme park in Barcelona are sketchy, but promotional images show visitors taking part in virtual swimming races.
HIDE CAPTION
Virtual Olympics in Barcelona
'Sportainment'
Alive and kicking
Ski jump
Faster, higher, stronger
Gold, silver, bronze
Money maker
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sports theme park planned for Barcelona's Olympic venues
  • Visitors will take part in virtual races using "best technology on the planet"
  • Tickets to be priced according to the sports visitors want to take part in

(CNN) -- Fitness isn't usually a requirement for theme parks -- standing in lines, climbing into rides and screaming in abject terror require only basic levels of stamina.

Not so at the world's first-ever sports amusement park planned for the Olympic Stadium and other Olympic venues in Barcelona, which promises to give visitors the chance to experience what it's like to race against Usain Bolt.

Open Camp will offer more than 50 "virtual experiences with links to every sport" when it opens in 2015, according to officials in the Spanish city.

Details of how they'll be able to strut their stuff against the world's fastest and strongest are so far thin on the ground, but a promotional video offers some clues.

One image shows people strapped to horizontal machines that supposedly mimic swimming as a screen in front of them shows an Olympic-sized pool.

Another shows a visitor in ski gear hoisted aloft in a wind tunnel apparently designed to recreate the experience of ski jumping.

It's not just about taking part though -- it's also about winning.

The park will also stage daily awards ceremonies to dole out bronze, silver and gold.

MORE: World's top 25 amusement parks

'Sportainment' experience

A statement said "the best technology on the planet" would be used in creating the "sportainment" experience.

"Visitors will be able to feel what it is like to be professional football players, run a smooth 100 meters against Usain Bolt, take part in any Olympic Games race recreated exactly as it was in reality and experience a medals ceremony," it said.

It said the park is intended to breathe new life into the "neglected" venues that hosted Barcelona's Olympics in 1992. Since then the venues have continued to host sports events as well as music concerts.

"The park will bring more life to the stadium than it has today and encourage more of the public to use it, while allowing it to continue holding big events," says Maite Fandos, one of the city's deputy mayors.

More than €20 million ($26 million) of private funding has been stumped up for the project, which is expected to create at least 240 jobs and bring in up to €53 million in annual revenues.

Tickets ranging from €20-30 are likely to be priced according to the sports that visitors want to take part in, the statement says.

While it sounds exhausting, Open Camp promoter Francesc Medina reportedly insists it'll be an experience for everyone, "even people with a beer gut."

MORE: Insider guide: What to do in Barcelona

Would you visit a sports theme park? Let us know in the comments.

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