2021 Olympic Virtual Series FAQ


We’re sure you have tons of questions about the 2021 Olympic Virtual Series as well as what, exactly, it is. No worries. We’ve got you covered.

What is the Olympic Virtual Series?
The Olympic Virtual Series is a new virtual sports experience from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that aims to develop new audiences. In collaboration with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), Zwift will be running the official cycling program, which begins June 1. More information can be found here.

Can runners also participate?
Zwift and the UCI are collaborating to deliver all cycling events of the Olympic Virtual Series. There are no running events this time around.

What other sports are included as part of the Olympic Virtual Series?
Five different sports have been selected for the first Olympic Virtual Series. These sports will be run by their International Federation in partnership with gaming publishers and will include:

  • World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) – eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami
  • Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – Zwift, Zwift Inc.
  • World Rowing – Open format
  • World Sailing – Virtual Regatta, Virtual Regatta SAS
  • Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) – Gran Turismo, Polyphony Digital

When will the Olympic Virtual Series take place on Zwift?
The Olympic Virtual Series cycling events will run on Zwift from June 1–27. In collaboration with the UCI, we have an exciting series lined up with a few surprises in store. Full details of all the events can be found here.

What is the purpose of the Olympic Virtual Series?
The Olympic Virtual Series will mobilize virtual sport, esports, and gaming enthusiasts from around the world in order to reach new audiences, while also encouraging the continued development of traditional and digital forms of sports.

What is the celebrity chase event?
The celebrity chase is an exciting broadcast event on June 18! Come watch as Olympians get seeded and take off at certain intervals across our roads with the goal of finishing the event before being chased down by whoever’s behind them.

What will the group rides be like?
There will be two types of Olympic Virtual Series group rides: Podcast Rides and Group Workout Rides.
Podcast Rides

  • Ride beside the community and listen to past and present Olympians and Paralympians—like Nino Schurter, Dame Sarah Storey, Nelson Vails, Georgia Simmerling, and more—share their personal stories from different events and how they made it to the biggest stage in sports. Some podcast rides will also be led by Olympians. Find out more here.

Group Workout Rides

  • The workouts for these rides have been designed by former Olympians and coaches who will also lead a select number of Group Workout Rides. These offer Zwifters of all abilities a chance to train together in a group setting. Everyone will train to their own ability but Zwift keeps things social by holding the pack together. Find out more here.

What is the broadcast event about?
The Olympic Virtual Series broadcast event is an exciting handicap-style race featuring some of the greatest cyclists in the world. You’ll be able to watch the broadcast of this event on The Olympic Channel.

What is Olympic Day?
Established in 1948, Olympic Day is celebrated worldwide on June 23—the date on which Pierre de Coubertin founded the IOC back in 1894. Based on the three pillars of “move,” “learn,” and “discover,” Olympic Day encourages everyone to get active and live the Olympic values while also raising awareness of the roles that sport and physical activity play in society. National Olympic Committees mark the occasion by hosting activities available to everybody, regardless of age, gender, background, or sporting ability.

What is happening on Zwift for Olympic Day?
Dive into a full day of fun on June 23 as we take to the roads of our brand new map, Yumezi! With 24 mass participation group rides kicking off every hour beside 24 Olympians—one for each event—there are plenty of opportunities for anyone to join in on the fun.

The 24-hour group ride is a full day of high-end cycling action! Join the community for 24 hours of Olympic Day Group Rides—with a new ride kicking off every hour—where you’ll be joined by a rotating roster of Olympians.

How can I hear more about what’s happening with future Olympic-related communications?
We don’t blame you, the Olympics are exciting! All Zwifters are invited to opt-in to receive further marketing information from the IOC here.

Can I access Zwift for free during June?
For a limited time starting May 27, the IOC and UCI are offering 30 days of Zwift free for new Zwifters. Head over to this UCI page to sign up for a 30-day access code. From there, simply create a Zwift account using the provided access code at Zwift.com.

Who are the guest Olympians?
The list includes:
Anna van der Breggen

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Women’s Road Race – Rio

Dame Sarah Storey

  • 14 Paralympic medals across swimming and cycling
  • Amazing journey spanning 6 Olympic Games

Georgia Simmerling

  • 3-discipline Olympian
  • Competed in skiing and track cycling

Mariana Pajón

  • 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist (BMX)
  • 7-time World Champion

Nino Schurter

  • Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Olympic Silver Medalist

Nelson Vails

  • Olympic Silver Medalist

Sir Chris Hoy

  • Most decorated Olympic cyclist in history

Anna Meares

What are the unlocks in Zwift?
Finish one ride in this series to unlock the 2021 Olympic Virtual Series-inspired kit in addition to the official bicycle of the Olympics, the Bridgestone Anchor RS9s—a high-end Japanese speed machine that keeps performance tight.

How do I participate?
Make sure you’ve upgraded to the latest game version!

See our Olympic Virtual Series homepage. This page will have a schedule of events that you can sign up for.

When is it?
Starting June 1, Watopia will host a series of Olympic Virtual Series events. There will be group rides, group workouts, and chase-style races for the first three weeks of the month, culminating in a broadcast-ready celebrity chase-style race with Olympians.

In the fourth week, we’ll switch over to the brand new Yumezi map for group ride events featuring past and current Olympians.

Finally on June 23, we’ll celebrate Olympic Day, a massive 24-hour experience filled with group rides where special guests and a rotating roster of Olympians will join the fun every hour.

Tell me about the Makuri Islands and Yumezi.
See our Makuri Islands and Yumezi FAQ.

I’m sure it took a lot of work to organize these events but I have to admit to being a bit disappointed. Podcast rides just aren’t the same as riding in real time with a well known athlete. I’ve much enjoyed past rides with Geraint Thomas and Mathieu van der Poel. There is something special about that interaction with the community a podcast can’t match.

And segregating the celebrity chase ride from the community ones are to me decidedly un-Zwift like. The magic of Zwift is that we can all ride together no matter where we are nor our skill levels.

Finally I think many of us were hoping that Yumezi would quickly be followed by more new roads for the virtual Olympics. As much as I like what’s been introduced- all of the new roads can be ridden in an hour or so and become somewhat repetitive.

I don’t want to take away from the work Zwift has been doing and don’t want to sound like a squeaky wheel. Just wanted to share a bit of what’s on my mind as a long time Zwift user.

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I feel like it would be better if in the celebrity chase race, some of the top zwifters in the world could also participate as it would be interesting to see them race against the pros. I feel like it would also be good for Zwift to show some of their stars in order to try to give them more publicity

2 Likes

Is there any real competition? A group chase race is not the same as an individual event race.

Would be cool if there would be a real 24 hour group ride in a circle route. Not only the single rides on the day.

1 Like