FIA collaborates with International Olympic Committee in launch of inaugural Olympic Virtual Series


Pioneering initiative set to inspire and engage digital sport participants and gaming fans all around the world. 

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) is to collaborate with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by participating in the inaugural Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), the first-ever Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports.
As part of its build-up to the Olympic Games, the IOC – the supreme authority of the Olympic Games and leader of the Olympic Movement – has introduced the landmark Olympic Virtual Series to inspire and mobilise virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world, while encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports.
The IOC’s vision is to build a better world through sport. In creating a stage to connect the physical sporting world with the virtual and simulation sports gaming community, the OVS will enable participants to engage actively with the Olympic Movement through competitive gaming initiatives, while championing physical activity and the importance of sport amongst young generations.
Whilst the FIA was awarded full recognition status by the IOC in 2013 in accordance with the sporting and governance standards of the Olympic Charter, this new partnership marks the latest stage in the FIA’s integration into the olympic movement. The world motor sport governing body wholeheartedly embraces the Olympic spirit and shares the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship, believing that sport should be accessible, fair and enjoyable for all. The FIA has been appointed to participate in the OVS alongside four other leading international sports federations from baseball, cycling, rowing and sailing, and has collaborated closely with gaming developer Polyphony Digital Inc. to launch the motor sport event of the OVS. This online digital competition will be open to users of Gran Turismo Sport, which was developed in 2018 for the FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships.
The motor sport event of the OVS will begin on 13 May with the Global Online Qualification stage, which will adopt the form of a 10-day Time Trial Challenge. Following an online classification, the top 16 competitors will advance to the World Finals, drawn from the following regions: EMEA, Asia, North America, Central & South America and Oceania.
The World Finals will be broadcast on 23 June in celebration of Olympic Day – the date on which Pierre de Coubertin founded the IOC back in 1894 – and will feature three races, with points awarded for each. The competitor who accrues the highest cumulative points total across all three races will be crowned the winner.
In line with the OVS’s objective to prioritise inclusivity and participation, entry is open to all users of the 'Sport Mode' of Gran Turismo Sport who have registered a PSN ID in eligible countries*. The World Finals will be restricted to competitors aged 18 or over at the time of the event**.
* Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India (exc. Nagaland), Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates (UAE), UK, Uruguay, USA
** In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, competitors must be aged 21 or over on the starting date of the event
IOC President, Thomas Bach, said: “The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to foster direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports. Its conception is in line with the 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.”
FIA President, Jean Todt, said: “I am delighted that the FIA is joining forces with the IOC for this highly prestigious and innovative sporting contest, and I would like to thank [IOC President] Thomas Bach for putting his faith in us. We share the same values and are proud of the diversity and inclusion offered by digital motor sport, which promotes mass participation by removing most of the traditional barriers to entry.”

FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker, said: “The Olympic Virtual Series aligns perfectly with our strategy to foster the growth and development of the Digital Motor Sport and, in so doing, extend the appeal of our wonderful sport to fresh audiences. I look forward to following the competition closely as we continue to discover exciting new talent.”
Producer Gran Turismo series & President Polyphony Digital, Kazunori Yamauchi, said: "We are honoured that Gran Turismo has been appointed as one of the publishers for the Olympic Virtual Series. This is a historic day not only for us at Gran Turismo, but seen from the history of motor sport as well. I'm very excited that the numerous Gran Turismo players all around the world will be able to share the Olympic Virtual Series experience.”