Founded in 1982, the Gay Games have become an international sporting event that “is built upon the core principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™”. They began as a place for all people to take part in all kinds of sporting events, ranging from tennis to football to figure skating and even powerlifting.
The Gay Games 11 will be held in November 2023 in Hong Kong, where LGBTQ+ athletes from all over the world will come together to compete in the name of Sport, Fairness, Respect and Friendship.
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History of the Gay Games
In 1982, Dr Tom Waddell founded the first Gay Games in San Fransico as a way to liberate LGBTQ+ people around the world. The games would be a way to educate people and provide them with a better understanding of the community through sports, arts & culture events. And so the Federation of Gay Games was born.
“The purpose of the Federation shall be to foster and augment the self-respect of anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the non-LGBTQ+ world, primarily through an organised, international, participatory and noncompetitive athletic and cultural event held every four years commonly known as the Gay Games.”.
Over the years, the games have been hosted in a number of cities and countries, such as Amsterdam, Cologne, New York and Paris. The Gay Games 11 will be hosted in Hong Kong, a city known for its ongoing struggle with acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. Hosting the games here will be a momentous occasion for the country, the Asian LGBTQ+ community and the world.
Gay Games Mission
When the Games were first founded, they were done so with a specific mission in mind that has been carried throughout the years, and that is to be inclusive in nature. Their founding message was that no individual shall be excluded from participating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/artistic ability, physical challenge, age, or health status.
Much like the Olympics, the Gay Games includes a number of athletics sports to compete in:
- Dragon Boat Racing
- Football 7
- Marathon (Full/Half)
- Marital Arts
- Open Water Swim
- Road Races (5K/10K)
- Table Tennis
- Trail Running
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