The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) just announced that Hong Kong will be the host city for the 2022 Gay Games, beating out Washington, D.C. and Guadalajara, Mexico as potential contenders.
Since the Games’ premiere in 1982, North America has hosted six out of nine Games. Europe has hosted two, Australia one — Asia, Central and South America had never hosted.
“Those games will be the first in Asia,” said Dennis Philippe, one of the key organizer’s behind Hong Kong’s bid for the 2022 Gay Games. “We’ll be able to empower people and make them go from the dark into the light. We will also show that sport is a great way to make friends.”
The visibility of LGBTQ athletes in Hong King could help change the region’s attitudes towards issues like coming out, same-sex marriage and social equality, especially considering Taiwan’s recent court ruling which will soon legalize national marriage equality. Hornet supported Hong Kong’s bid for the 2022 Gay Games.
Last year, the FGG listed nine world cities among its potential hosts for the 2022 games. In March, they slimmed down the list to three finalists. The FGG then made visits to each city and had the bidding committees from each make presentations about their viability.
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According to Emy Ritt, the FGG’s Director of International Relations, host cities must demonstrate three things: “The first is to have a very strong LGBT community in sport and culture and to work very well together, the second is to have strong support from the government at local, regional and national levels, and the third is to have experience organizing tournaments, even small tournaments.”
The Games represent not only a boost to LGBTQ visibility and tourism in a world city, but also a significant economic opportunity for the host city. The 2014 Games in Cleveland, Ohio brought in 8,800 athletes from 30 different countries and generated $65 million for the local economy.
Here are some shots of Hong King being named as the host city of the 2022 Gay Games:
Mexico wanted to host the Games partly because of its current battle for the possibility of nationwide same-sex marriage. Members of Guadalajara’s bid committee pointed out that their city already has a history of organizing international sporting events, as demonstrated by the 2011 Pan American Games.
The bid committee from Washington D.C. touted its city’s diversity, inclusion, affordability and long-held love of sports as reasons for its candidacy. Washington D.C. has never hosted the Gay Games.
The 2018 Gay Games will happen in Paris, France from August 4 to 12. They will feature 36 sports, 14 cultural events, an academic conference and an estimated 15,000 participants from 70 countries. The event is expected to draw 15,000 participants and up to 10,000 more related visitors.
Featured image by Dennis Philipse via Facebook