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Olympic Summit encourages international sporting bodies to explore esport opportunities

Olympic Summit encourages international sporting bodies to explore esport opportunities
December 7, 2019

The Olympic Summit has urged International Sport Federations to consider how to govern electronic versions of their sport and explore future development opportunities with gaming publishers.

Presented as one of eight themes - the others being athlete support, the growing politicisation of sport, the Tokyo Olympics, the fight against doping, the 'Future of Global Sport' study, good governance and digital stratecy - at the eighth Olympic Summit in the Swiss city of Lausanne today - the Summit explored what it call "great potential" for cooperation and incorporating esports into the sports movement, with many sports simulations becoming more physical due to the advancement of virtual and augmented reality.

The Summit was presented with a report from the Chair of the esports and gaming liaison group, International Cycling Union President David Lappartient with recommendations to promote Olympic sports and the Olympic values in esports and gaming.

The Summit agreed on a two-speed approach with International Federations urged to explore esport opportunities, suggesting that the sports movement should just focus on players and gamers rather than specific games, as this focus on individuals would promote the participation in sport and its benefits.

It was agreed that a continuous dialogue between the Olympic Movement and the esports and gaming communities should be fostered to develop strategic partnerships.

esports continues to grow in popularity and has started to enter the Olympic Movement already, with UCI in particular establishing strong links with the online cycling and running videogame Zwift.

The Summit welcomed the findings of the 'Future of Global Sport' study presented by Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

The report addresses the changing role of the International Federations (IFs) and the consequences of this with regard to their authority and governance. The report stresses that IFs are not just event organisers but must also ensure the long-term development of their sports by investing in youth, education, anti-doping and other social activities.

Image: SKT T1 esports, Korea

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