The upcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Gangwon-do, South Korea, scheduled from January 19 to February 1, will introduce an innovative addition — the metaverse.
As announced on X (Twitter) via the official Olympic Games profile, the metaverse will serve as a digital replica of the physical event, offering fans and younger audiences a new and immersive perspective on the YOG.
Within the metaverse, users can personalize their avatars and engage in sports mini-games like Alpine skiing and Bobsleigh, mirroring those featured in this year’s YOG.
Beyond gaming, users can explore various virtual venues, including the Legacy museum, meeting areas, and lecture spaces. Additionally, viewers in the Republic of Korea will have the opportunity to stream sporting events.
Complementing the 360-degree virtual encounter, Gangwon 2024 will present a “Metaverse Experience” at the Gangneung Green City Experience Centre. Here, visitors can virtually engage in winter sports using simulators, graphic panels, and virtual reality equipment.
While this marks Gangwon’s inaugural venture into the metaverse, similar experiences have been offered by sports initiatives globally. In August 2023, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) introduced “Champions of the Court,” an immersive virtual experience on the Roblox platform, coinciding with the 2023 Grand Slam tournament.
In 2022, the All England Tennis Club brought Wimbledon’s iconic Hill into the metaverse, creating a socially interactive virtual experience that allowed participants to set up virtual tents on the hill during the event.