For the first time, virtual racing will be included in the Olympics, with a Gran Turismo game selected to be part of the current virtual sports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the Olympic Virtual Series, a new series of virtual athletic competitions that will take place ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The IOC collaborates with five international sports federations to organize interactive tournaments in games that feature their respective sports.
The IOC has partnered with five International Sports Federations to produce the inaugural season, including five separate digital sporting competitions. To insure the fullest possible participation in the OVS, each federation will run the event on its site.
The below are the five sports and games that will be played:
- Baseball – World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) – eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020 (Konami)
- Cycling – Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – Zwift (Zwift)
- Motorsport – Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – Gran Turismo (Polyphony Digital)
- Rowing – World Rowing – TBA
- Sailing – World Sailing – Virtual Regatta (Virtual Regatta)
IOC President Thomas Bach said:
“The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to grow direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports. Its conception is in line with Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the IOC’s Digital Strategy. It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values, with a special focus on youth.”
Last year, Gran Turismo founder Kazunori Yamauchi told Motorsport.com that he thought the development of sim racing was critical to the survival of real-world motorsport.