Did you know that Motor Racing was part of the 1900 Summer Olympics?

Why isn't car racing an Olympic Sport?

It's time to answer the question *literally* some people has been asking: why isn't car racing included in the Olympics? It's actually a good question. The Olympic Games as we know them were launched in 1894, when Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. Nearly every nation has been represented since and only three editions have been cancelled (1916, 1940, 1944) and yet, motor racing was only included once, in 1900.

The 1900 Olympics were held in Paris, in conjunction with the World Fair, and in fact, a number of events were held in the area occupied by Fair. Some of these events, including car and motorcycle racing, have never been part of the Olympics since and even though medals were indeed awarded, the International Olympic Committee never officially considered them part of the Olympics.

The medal would always be awarded to the manufacturer only - not the driver - and most manufacturers were French. Unfortunately, record-keeping wasn't great at the time but we do know that Louis Renault, one of the controversial co-founders of Renault, won the Paris-Toulouse-Paris race, which was part of the games along with other races involving fire trucks and trucks, taxis and vans, some of which were powered by electricity.

So why isn't motor racing part of the Olympics? I think the fact that modern car racing relies so much on equipment and technology is probably the main reason.

What is your opinion? Why isn't car racing part of the Olympics?

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Comments (9)

  • As most of us will know, race drivers are absolutely among the top athletes in the world. Racing is very demanding, both mentally and physically.

    With that out of the way: I guess the driver is only partially responsible for the performance. I can't think of a single discipline in the current Olympics where the equipment is so crucial (and, frankly, where the difference between manufacturers is so big) as in motor racing.

    Yes, we have bicycle racing- but the bicycle itself does not deliver performance, the athlete does. Obviously, if the bicycle is badly made, the rider is at a disadvantage- but in the end, it is only a vessel for the performance to be delivered.

    Horseback riding, you say? Training the horse is very much a human effort.

    Archery? Still a human performance.

    In the end, I think motorsports are too much of a mechanical influence.

    And then, the final aspect I want to touch on: who's going to develop the track? I think a race track (and everything that comes with it, like pit lanes, safety measures etc.) that meets F1 requirements is very expensive to build, and can't be expected to be used only once and then forgotten. The race calendar is pretty packed as far as I know, and I don't think the teams are willing to put in yet more extra races in order to earn back this investment- if the track isn't demolished afterwards anyway.

      1 month ago
    • Maybe if there were spec cars built by one company, that are only seen by the teams at the start line and are thoroughly investigated before and after a race maybe that will get the equipment to play less of a role

        1 month ago
    • That could be-- but who is going to pay for the development of those cars that would be used once every four years? And how would qualifying work? Can F1 and Indy drivers be compared? And what about countries that don't have a driver in either of...

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        1 month ago
  • I think there is to much mechanical influence but there should be a motorsport olympics with rally racing ,endurance racing, drag racing etc

      1 month ago
  • Merging GT3 racing with the Olympics would be a sight to see

      1 month ago
  • I can see autocross as an event.

      1 month ago
  • Because then everyone will watch only that

      1 month ago
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