The pandemic has created a scenario forcing several sport organizations to take their competitions completely online.
One of the first examples were in auto racing, where F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula E, the GT Word Challenge and other categories celebrated simracing events in the vacuum of racing.
But it was very obvious that they would not replicate “the real thing” without the inherent risk involved in the sport or its physical demands. Simracers were the best at simracing and it showed it is a different sport.
It also led to the creation of the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, with world-class drivers and simracers. It was a great event, which could certainly be successful as a permanent addition. Will these events stay during the offseason?
Some sports were able to replicate their actual events through virtual remote competition, such as the Para Powerlifting World Cup or the 1st Online International Weightlifting Cup, Uzbekistan.
Competitors completed their lifts from home and were judged remotely. This cannot replicate the actual competition but also reduces financial and travel barriers. Are these contests also here to stay?
The X-Games -which push the boundaries of what is humanly possible- have already been holding these kinds of contests for a few years, with their “Real” Competition Series.
The latest was the Skateboard Real Street Best Trick competition, won by Nyjah Huston (USA) (view – X Games). The previous winners included Colby Raha (USA) in Real Moto (view) and Garrett Reynolds (USA), who won the Real BMX Competition (view), a few weeks before being beaten by Kevin Peraza (MEX) for the BMX Street Gold at the E-FISE Montpellier 2020, also held online (view the whole program – FISE).
E-FISE included BMX, Skateboarding, Parkour, Breaking (Dancing), Roller Skating, and Wakeboarding with submissions and winners from around the world. It was a success but cannot replicate the in-person experience and next year’s edition is planned to be held in Montpellier.
The X-Games “Real” contests have stayed throughout the years. Which will stay out of these pandemic? Certainly at least a few.