The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Zwift have announced their participation in the Olympic Virtual Series (OVS), a new virtual event launched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, and Zwift, renowned global online training and racing platform for cyclists, will be one of the five sports – alongside rowing, baseball-softball, sailing and motor sport – on the programme of the inaugural edition of the OVS.
By collaborating on the OVS series, UCI and Zwift join forces with the IOC to deliver a unique Olympic experience based on mass participation and inclusion. “The OVS aims to bring the broader cycling and sporting communities together for four exciting weeks of mass participation focused on inclusion and sharing of the Olympic values and spirit” states UCI President and head of the IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group, David Lappartient.
The UCI and Zwift have a history of partnerships that aim to strengthen the development of virtual cycling, in particular through the launch of the first UCI World Championships in December of last year. A discipline that is currently booming among people of all levels, from beginners to professionals, virtual cycling enables cyclists to train and participate in competitions from the comfort of their homes, regardless of outside conditions. A veritable sport, challenging for competitors and exciting for fans, virtual cycling also contributes to good health. Having already enjoyed worldwide popularity for several years, cycling esports exploded during the coronavirus pandemic with the restrictions on outside activities and travel in many countries.
For the UCI and Zwift, the Olympic Virtual Series will strengthen the inclusive dimension of virtual cycling by offering cyclists of all levels a unique opportunity to participate in an official IOC event for the very first time.
The virtual cycling series of inclusive mass participation events organised as part of the OVS is open to cyclists all over the world, taking place between the 1st and 27th of June. More information on the format of the events and how to register will be communicated by Zwift at the end of May.
Zwift CEO and Co-Founder Eric Min adds: “Participation in virtual sports is at an all-time high and Zwift is at the forefront of creating a new genre of physical virtual sport. The Olympic Virtual Series aligns with Zwift’s own mission to engage more people, to connect a global audience, and to speak to a younger generation. We’re thrilled that the IOC and the UCI share in our vision and have selected Zwift to be the publisher for the very first OVS.
Click here for the IOC press release