Panthertown Selected As Site For 2026 Olympics


April 1, 2019 (Happy April Fool’s Day)

Cashiers, NC – Panthertown Valley has been picked as an official site for the 2026 Olympic Games.

Friends of Panthertown volunteers have been tasked to assist the United States Olympic Committee and North Carolina Association of Olympic Athletes to get the popular backcountry forest ready in anticipation of the influx of visitors expected for the new competitions.

International Olympic Committee Director Regina Ulysses Sirius congratulated the people of Jackson County, North Carolina for being selected as the new host for the Olympics. A state-of-the-art Panthertown visitor’s center and Olympic-sized waterfall swimming holes will be constructed for the competitions. Private donations and increased tax revenues will be used to fund the new facilities.

With just seven years to go, and over 30-miles of trails to maintain, preparations are already under way for Friends of Panthertown to get the selected site ready for the new autumn competitions which will now also include rock climbing pole vault, black bear mud wrestling, native trout sushi fishing, and competitive long distance hiking.

Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins said he was at first reluctant to host the events in Nantahala National Forest based on his expert knowledge of Greek mythology and Olympic history, however he has agreed to not wear a camouflage tutu while cheering on Team U.S.A. in 2026.

All forest service roads leading to Panthertown will be paved in gold for the duration of 2019.

Contact Friends of Panthertown at for more info or to make a donation in support of the work Friends of Panthertown is doing to protect and maintain this special place.


  1. UNBELIEVABLE NEWS! A far cry from the days when my husband and I cleared trails and hiked with Carlton McNeil through the valley. Congratulations to all of you! I am apprehensive about the care of th valley with so many people (?) but am sure it will be well cared for! Judy Darby

  2. This is priceless 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣! Look forward to hiking with you fun people!Diane LajoieSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

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