The International Extreme Sports Festival, known as FISE, will be held completely online for the first time this summer in response to social distancing measures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The video contest will be open to male and female pros and amateurs across seven disciplines, including BMX and skateboarding — which are both new additions to the Olympic program — with prizes totaling more than €150,000 (about ¥17.7 million).
Organizers had given up holding the street sports competition due to the coronavirus outbreak but then decided to reinvent it and create an "innovative online experience."
FISE attracts over 1 million people each year. The tournament, scheduled to be in held Montpellier, France, in May, shifted to the digital arena after the French government prohibited gatherings of more than 5,000 people until September.
The online competition, dubbed E-FISE Montpellier, will be held over several weeks this summer, with athletes posting video entries for the chance to win the same amount in prize money per discipline as the 2019 edition.
Rimu Nakamura, a gold medal hopeful at the postponed Tokyo Olympics, finished fifth in the men's BMX freestyle park event in Montpellier last year and took home €7,000.
Nakamura has been fortunate to be able to continue training in Uji, Kyoto, during the coronavirus crisis at the training grounds built by his sponsor, Wing Arc 1st, and has been posting Instagram videos of himself practicing.
With the freedom to shoot his performance at one of the best facilities in the world, constructed at a cost of about ¥400 million, Nakamura is likely to be a top contender at E-FISE Montpellier.
Fans will also be able to take part by voting for their favorite videos, while organizers plan to host an online "webstival" to provide a festival atmosphere for online spectators.
The experiment is expected to generate a big response from the digital generation of teens and 20-somethings and promises to be a good opportunity for athletes to gain name recognition.
More details of the competition will be announced on June 10.
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