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When You Want to Pretend You’re Olympics-Bound ...

The Olympics will be unavoidable this August, so why not learn a few of the sports you’ll be incessantly watching?


Illustrations by Damien Weighill  

Queens Archery’s Al Lizzio says you can master the mechanics of archery (though he won’t guarantee you’ll get close to the bull’s-eye) with your first $17 lesson, which covers an hour on the range with a rented bow. Class times are flexible. 39th Ave. at 171st St., Flushing; 718-461-1756.

On Saturdays, the cycling club at the Kissena Velodrome in Flushing conducts free workouts with loaner fixed-gear bikes. Kissena regular J. P. Partland also organizes Wednesday-night races. Kissena Blvd. nr. Booth Memorial Dr., Flushing; 212-316-1582.

Columbia diving coach Gordon Spencer opens up his pool to adults for Saturday lessons ($130). Start on the one-meter board, then jackknife up to the Olympic-height three-meter. Classes begin after Labor Day. Uris Pool, 3030 Broadway, at 116th St.; 212-854-6922.

Empire United Fencing, staffed by five former Olympic athletes and coaches, offers 90-minute beginner classes ($30) for adults on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. 145 W. 30th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-594-2118.

Chelsea Piers’ ten- or twenty-class regimens ($190 to $360) include all the basics—rings, ropes, parallel bars, balance beams—plus a strength-building course called Gymtensity, beginning in August. Pier 62 nr. 23rd St.; 212-336-6500.

When not working the trading floor at JPMorgan, Zolden Eastwood teaches the strength, speed, and technique to throw a long stick very far; $40 per session, three sessions a week. Call 917-656-7645 to arrange time and place.

Stella Cashman, coach of Park Racewalkers USA, holds a 10 a.m. weekend class in Central Park ($20 per hour) and sunrise-club workouts. Meet weekdays at 72nd St. and Park Dr. E., weekends at 84th St. and Park Dr. E.; 212-628-1317.

In four successive weekends beginning in late July or August, the New York Rowing Association will convert your $500 into a smooth catch and stroke. Boats launch from the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse in Inwood’s Swindler Cove; 917-538-5792.

Two-time Olympian Doug Dickinson will customize a course that begins with push-ups and squats and culminates (ideally) in the fastest 100-yard dash of your life. $85 per session. Call 646-961-0857 to schedule.

Former Olympian Jane Katz teaches phys ed at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and gives private lessons (; charges vary). 60th St. nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-237-8663.

Asphalt Green lets polo beginners take two free lessons, held on Sundays from 5 to 6 p.m., before committing the $25 a month to join weekly scrimmages. Stick around to watch the elites practice from 6 to 8 p.m. 555 E. 90th St., nr. East End Ave.; 212-369-8890.

Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 9, join patent attorney turned volunteer coach Gerard Dunne for training in the clean-and-jerk. “We take rank beginners,” he says. Lost Battalion Hall, 93-29 Queens Blvd., at 63rd Dr., Rego Park; 917-656-7753.


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