London is bidding to host the tenth Gay Games in London in 2018.
The Gay Games is held every four years, it comprises a week long sports, cultural and human rights event. It’s open to all, regardless of sexual orientation, age, ability and attracts over 12,000 participants from 70 nations – making it the largest sporting and cultural event, open to all, in the world. People compete at all levels, from complete beginner to elite athletes and includes up to 30 sports with Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The last Games were in Cologne, where 29 world records were broken in the pool, and the next Gay Games, in 2014, are in Cleveland Ohio. The founding principles of the Gay Games are: Inclusion, Participation and Personal Best.
London2018’s vision is: to excite everyone about participating in LGBT Sport and Culture, to encourage everyone to excel and achieve their personal best, and leading by example, we want to educate everyone about human rights, diversity and inclusivity.
We think we live in the most exciting city: the best culture, the best sports, and the best social life in the world. No matter where you are in London, there’s always something amazing happening. We want everyone to enjoy that excitement.
London 2012 also proved how exciting London can be as a host of a major event. The welcome ,the volunteers, the park, the buzz all showed how much fun people had. Our bid is inspired to match this atmosphere.
London has some of the most exciting sporting and cultural venues in the world. From the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium, Aquatic Centre and grounds, the Lee Valley sites and the resources of the University of East London, to the South Bank and Soho venues, we have an abundance of world class resources.
We also want everyone to excel in their chosen activity. To be your best, people have to feel like they can be themselves. Where in the past they may have felt excluded, in London they won’t feel worried, or feel the need to listen for the taunt, to glance behind at what someone might be doing behind the starting block or behind the goal, or simply fear hugging another player in celebration. They can stand tall, they can be themselves and they can excel by competing to the best of their ability.
In London, we already feel that within our teams. Playing in local leagues with many other mainstream teams, we know that itʼs more than just people accepting us for who we are, they just donʼt care anymore. We want everyone to know how good that feels. And thatʼs why we’re bidding to invite the world to get excited about competing as their personal best in the city we love.
Many of the UK’s cities have LGBT sports and cultural teams, but not everyone is aware of the transformative force of participating in these groups. The normalising effect of being part of something, for both gay and straight, is powerful. By bidding for and hosting the Gay Games, we aim to educate our neighbours about these activities.
London doesnʼt just tolerate rich, diverse, multi-cultural communities. London embraces it, we live it, and we love it. We enjoy the heritage and the traditions that each community old and new brings to our city. Londonʼs LGBT people are out and proud. Some of us march down Oxford Street during Pride celebrations and some of us meander down Regent Street with our kids. We enjoy the fact that our place in London life makes us a visible beacon of not only acceptance but integration.
We love sport and we love being gay.
The Bid Books are submitted in February 2013. Amsterdam, London, Limerick, Orlando and Paris are Candidate Cities. The handover of the flag will happen in Cleveland in 2014 – we need everyone’s support to win the bid. If you think you can help in some way – let us know.
For more information on the Gay Games…have at look at their website.
An interesting history of LGBT sports in the UK