The International Olympic Committee have announced the Sim Racing and four other eSports will make up the ‘Olympic Virtual Series’ at this year’s Tokyo Games as racers look ahead to the prospect of becoming the first ever Gran Turismo Olympic gold medalist.
Baseball, Cycling, Rowing and Sailing will join Motorsport in the first-ever Virtual series, which takes place from 13 May to 23 June 2021, with governig bodies from the world of Football, Tennis, Basketball and TaeKwonDo all expressing interest in joining the series in the future.
The inclusion of GranTurismo, made by Sony’s in-house studio Polyphony Digital, to represent MotorSport isn’t a huge surprise with the Games taking place in Tokyo and the likes of Konami also having their software used.
After the Covid pandemic saw a host of real-world racing drivers joining some of the best sim racers around to take part in Formula One’s virtual Grands Prix last year, we could see some of them renew their rivalries at the Olympics.
Current F1 drivers Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) are both noted GT racers, having shown off their custom rigs on YouTube and could decide they want the chance to add Olympic gold to their own trophy collections.
Other drivers on the F1 grid have also built up impressive reputations taking their skills from the physical racetrack to the virtual one – with Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and others all regularly sharing their exploits on Twitch.
Away from F1, there could be any number of prominent simracers who find themselves competing for Olympic glory later this year with 2020 World Champion Takuma Miyazono, Mikail Hizal and Daniel Solis all potential contenders.
More details to are to follow on the final format of the Olympic Virtual Series but it looks as though there will be plenty more to come.