IOC wants separate esports Olympics, Bach says in new year message


The International Olympic Committee already launched the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic esports Week in Singapore in June last year as precursors. — REUTERS

BERLIN: IOC President Thomas Bach has hinted at his opposition to the inclusion of esports in the Olympic Games and wants a separate competition for computer games.

In his New Year's message published on Thursday, the German said the digital revolution – in particular artificial intelligence and esports – offers enormous opportunities for the Olympic movement.

However, a day before his 70th birthday, the former Olympic fencer said esports needed their own event.

"...The IOC Esports Commission is studying the creation of Olympic Esports Games," he said.

The International Olympic Committee already launched the Olympic Virtual Series in 2021 and the Olympic esports Week in Singapore in June last year as precursors.

The competition included 10 computer games with a sports background – baseball, archery, motorsports, cycling, chess, shooting, sailing, taekwondo, dancing and tennis.

"Whatever shape the Olympic Esports Games will take, our parameters and conditions are set. We will stay true to our values – the Olympic values of peace, respect, non-discrimination and solidarity," added Bach.

He also displayed his excitement ahead of Paris 2024 Summer Games in July and August.

"With the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 only months away, the athletes, the fans, the entire Olympic community – all of us – are looking forward to a new era of Olympic Games: younger, more inclusive, more urban, more sustainable," he said.

"The very first Olympic Games with full gender parity." – dpa

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