LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Thomas Bach has been president of the International Olympic Committee for nearly five years now, and one of his pet phrases is thus: “We have to get the couch potatoes off the couch.”
Prediction, and cue the screams of the traditionalists: the couch potatoes are very likely going to shape, perhaps significantly, the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
The esports revolution is coming, and fast, for it cannot and will not be stopped, and indeed the gamers are almost surely going to help propel a thorough and long-overdue review — if not, indeed, the start of a re-do — of the Olympic program. That next-generation program is coming, in 2028 and LA.
“It’s the passion that really gets us together,” Bach told 21-year-old Jake Lyon, a professional gamer for the Houston Outlaws in the Overwatch League, as part of a Friday and Saturday forum dedicated to esports.
A gold medalist in fencing at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Bach told Lyon in a remarkable one-on-one, nearly hour-long breakout session Saturday morning at the Olympic Museum, both having shared on stage the emotion that comes with championship and victory, “We feel the same passion for your activity as you feel the passion for our activity.”