It was the year 1997 when Play Station introduced the first Gran Turismo forever changing virtual car racing: its vehicle offering, its appeal and its enormous resemblance to the real world made it an instant success. Few imagined 24 years ago that one day Gran Turismo would become an Olympic sport. And so it will be in 2021.
Audi e-Tron Vision Gran Turismo: finally come true
The next Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo and will be a milestone for three reasons. The first of them is that it is the first event of this type to be held after the coronavirus pandemic, the second is the arrival of new disciplines (baseball, surfing, climbing, karate and skateboarding) and the third is the celebration of the first Virtual Olympic Games.
Olympic Virtual Series
Baptized as Olympic Virtual Series, they will be held between May 13 and June 23 and will be organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in collaboration with the federations of these sports, which will shape each event. For the first time in the history of the centennial sports event there will be a digital version in which there will be five disciplines: baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsport (car racing).
This is how its president, Thomas Bach, spoke about the event: “They are a new and unique digital experience that aims to increase engagement with the new audiences that emerge in the sports. With them we want to encourage sports participation and promote Olympic values with a youth-centered approach ”. And it is that they will be a step forward for the Olympic movement and for that of electronic sports.
In the specific case of virtual car races, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) has chosen a classic of this genre: the video game Gran Turismo. One of the keys to the Olympic Virtual Series is that anyone can participate in the competition because the IOC has opted for an open stage although it has not given more details about it. The next step, therefore, will be to present the registration methods in the different modalities and the prizes included in the baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing competitions … and in Gran Turismo.