Olympic Virtual Series began on May 13, 2021, and will end on June 23, 2021. It aims to “mobilise virtual sport, esports, and gaming enthusiasts all around the world.” There will be five virtual events, i.e, Baseball, Cycling, Rowing, Sailing, and Motor Sport. All of them are different in form and concept, operating via the sport’s respective publisher platform. You can view it on the Olympic Channel.
As per Olympic Virtual Series, Baseball is to make “home run history”, Cycling is a “unique cycling experience in the virtual world.” For Rowing, you have to join “the race from Rio to Tokyo.” “Get ready for your next regatta” if you’re interested in the Sailing Event, and Motor Sports tests “your racing skills.”
As stated on the IOC website, the “International Olympic Committee (IOC) partnered with five International Sports Federations (IFs) and game publishers to produce the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), the first-ever, Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports.” They are:
- World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) – eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment
- Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – Zwift, Zwift inc.
- World Rowing – Open format
- World Sailing – Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta SAS
- Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital
It offers mass participation to ensure inclusivity and allows participants from every corner of the world to take part. This is to maintain bubbling energy before the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
IOC President Thomas Bach stated on the IOC website, “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.”
David Lappartient, Chair of the IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group (ELG), and President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), expresses, “On behalf of the ELG, as well as the UCI, I am delighted to be involved in the launch of the first-ever Olympic Virtual Series. A number of IFs have well established virtual sports initiatives; and thanks to the cooperation between the IOC, the IFs and the publishers, the OVS is an exciting step forward for the virtual sports world and the Olympic Movement”.
This Olympic Virtual Series is seriously one-of-a-kind!