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INAUGURAL OLYMPIC VIRTUAL SERIES TO INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATIONS AND GAME PUBLISHERS IN BASEBALL, CYCLING, ROWING, SAILING AND MOTOR SPORT

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will partner 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.

Taking place ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the OVS will begin on 13 May, continuing through to 23 June 2021. The Olympic Virtual Series will mobilise virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences, while also encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports in line with the recommendations of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020+5.

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.”

David Lappartient, Chair of the IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group (ELG), and President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said: “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”.

The International Olympic Committee has teamed up with the governing bodies of a range of sports to incorporate different competitions, with the FIA being one of them.

Kazunori Yamauchi ( Polyphony Digital and producer of the Gran Turismo video game series) said: "The Olympic Virtual Series is about to begin. 'Gran Turismo' has been selected as one of its competitions. This is the first time in history that motor sport has become a part of the Olympic Games."

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