It wasn't always that way, though. The 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, France, included both car and motorcycle racing, but only as demonstration events that did not return. That may or may not change in the future, but one step has been taken closer as the FIA – the body which governs most forms of motor racing around the world – has been officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
The recognition is provisional for two years, and it encourages the FIA to abide by the principles embodied by the Olympics and the establishment of an Athlete's Commission.
Of course, even if the IOC gives the FIA permanent recognition, that doesn't mean we'll be seeing auto racing at the Olympics any time soon: the Committee already officially recognizes a number of sporting bodies, sanctioning everything from motorcycle and powerboat racing to chess, bowling and billiards. Follow the jump for the official statement.
By letter dated 9th December 2011, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has announced that the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile has been recognised by the IOC.
The FIA strongly shares the Olympic sporting values as expressed by the IOC and aimed at developing a better understanding between communities worldwide. With this is mind the FIA affirms its commitments to respect the Olympic Charter, in particular:
to establish and enforce, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, the rules concerning the practice of its respective sports and to ensure their application;
to ensure the development of its sports throughout the world;
to contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, particularly in relation to the ongoing development of Olympic values and Olympic education.
The IOC recognition is provisional for a period of two years. The IOC has invited the FIA to introduce as soon as it is possible an Athlete's Commission so as to make this recognition permanent.
The FIA welcomes this recognition to join the Olympic family and confirms its commitment to participate in the activities of the IOC and its relevant commissions.
Jean Todt, President of the FIA, will be sending a letter to the 129 national sporting club members of the FIA, inviting them to respect and share the values of the Olympic movement.
« I am delighted the FIA is now part of the Olympic family as this is a confirmation of the strength of our sporting credentials as well as a recognition of the values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship which we actively share with the Olympic movement. »