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Will Motorsports Finally Have a Place in the Olympic Games?

Written by Maria Gadalla, Edited by Debargha Banerjee

In two months time, the Motorsport industry might completely change forever.

That’s not an exaggeration. Motorsports are being considered as a new category for the 2028 Olympics and this really is a big deal. In October, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is holding a meeting in Mumbai, regarding the inclusion of several new sports to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Motorsports is one of the many in a long list of considered categories including cricket, squash, lacrosse, breakdancing, baseball, softball, kickboxing, karate and flag football.

So why now? The IOC’s conditions on approving a sport is that it A) is for youth, B) for men and women alike, C) it must be sustainable and D) there must be a spectacle. With the likes of Formula-E and Moto-E, Motorsports has found common ground amongst all those conditions. More than that, leagues such as Formula 1 has managed to find a foothold in growing popularity in the United States - a fanbase locale that had, for a long time, been unreachable.

And now, there are three Grands-Prix set to be held in America this season.

Could Motorsport indeed become a part of the Olympics? Source: Getty Images

However, whilst Motorsport’s growing popularity has arguably been the catalyst for such an announcement, it is also the problem. It is competing with well-loved sports such as cricket and flag football - the latter being able to bring in big name NFL players.

There is also the issue of how a Motorsports category would go in the Olympic Games. Historically, there have been car races during Olympic events. In 2018, we saw Electric Karting have a demonstration event in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Argentina. No medals were awarded. To see a car-race awarded in an Olympic event, we have to go back to the 1900s, when the 1900s Summer Olympic Games held in France awarded medals to the winners of a staged car race. Except, the awards went to the car builders, not the drivers.

Source: Getty Images

One can only imagine, but this would likely not be the case if things were to go ahead in 2028. Every car would have the same power unit and set of tyres. And every car would most definitely be electric. The only difference would be the most important facet of the race; the driver. The independent variable of the race would be the skill and athleticism of each individual driver behind the wheel who are representing their country. It won’t be McLaren VS Mercedes, but Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris representing the United Kingdom.

Some fans have already responded with an indifference to the bid. Some responses have shrugged off the news, saying that we already have the Race of Champions or FIA Motorsport Games. However, this dismisses the entire point - this is a big step. To be able to see our favourite drivers walking in the Opening Ceremony and dressed in their country’s colours shifts Motorsports from the niche field and into the mainstream. No longer will anyone be able to say that stupid line that “car racing isn’t a sport” because here we have it recognised by the ultimate sporting competition in the world. Finally.


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