5 Olympic circles

Blockchain and Olympics: tradition meets innovation in the temple of sport

6 March 2023

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We are within two Olympic Games, both in the summer and winter. As athletes prepare to be ready for competition, the Olympic Games also try to keep up with the times. At the 2022 Winter Games in Tokyo, the first step has been made in Web3, but Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 do not want to be outdone.

Blockchain and Olympics: the first meeting in Tokyo 2022

Among the many traditions that characterize the Olympic Games are the Olympic pins, initially used as a way to identify athletes, judges and officials. In their 125 years of history, however, they have become a symbol of innovation until becoming NFT in Tokyo 2022.

During that edition of the Winter Games, thanks to the agreement between the IOC and nWays, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, fans were able to collect and exchange unique NFTs in the form of pins and mini-multiplayer games, which celebrate not only the current Olympics but also past ones.

The announcement was made by Timo Lumme, general marketing director and television services of the Olympic Committee who in 2021 said:

"Olympic badges began as a way to identify athletes, judges and officials, but over the past 125 years it has become a tradition of the Olympic Games, where everyone, from athletes to event staff, journalists and spectators, all participate in the collection and trade of pins in the Olympic Village and beyond. Today’s announcement is a natural evolution of this tradition, in line with the 2020+5 Olympic Agenda and the IOC’s digital strategy to embrace new digital technologies to promote Olympic values and grow direct relationships with our fans. They can now connect with the excitement of the Games in a completely new way and own a piece of Olympic history".

Buy tickets with cryptocurrencies, the Paris 2024 project

Ticketing Business News, last June, revealed that Michel Cadot, interministerial delegate of the Olympics, would draw up a report on the Olympics that included the sale of tickets for various events entirely based on blockchain. The project would serve to protect buyers and avoid scams. All this would be guaranteed by inserting in the ticket a rotating QR code that would be automatically deactivated as soon as the ticket was used.  

Six months later nothing has been said, what is known is that cryptocurrencies will be used in part to pay the economic compensation of athletes who manage to win a medal, as happened in Tokyo. The same Cadot was reported: 

"These provisions are already foreseen for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and practiced by major events such as the French International Tennis".

And what does Milan-Cortina 2026 have in store?

Although slow, the works of construction of the facilities for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics are underway. Before proceeding we had to choose the places that would host the various races.

Among the candidates there would be the ski resort Pontedilegno-Tonale. The destination has not been selected, but before submitting its application the local tourist portal OpenPonte, in collaboration with the Municipality of Pontedilegno and the Pro-Loco di Pontedilegno, carried out a market research to understand how the inhabitants of the area would welcome the possibility of hosting Olympic competitions.

Thanks to the innovative voting platform based on blockchain made available by Efebi, Italian citizens over the age of 18 in Pontedilegno during the Christmas holidays, have had the opportunity to express their thoughts on the possibility of organizing an Olympic race within the ski area Pontedilegno-Tonale.

As for the organization of the Games, cryptocurrencies are expected to be used for the compensation of athletes, but there may also be other news.

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