Even though Gay Games isn’t being held until 2018, registration opens on May 16 and it isn’t too early to sign up for what many prior participants have called a life-changing experience. The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) will bring this next celebration to Paris, the world’s City of Light. Here 15,000 anticipated participants from 70 countries will be taking part in a menu of 36 different sports, 14 cultural events and multiple conferences under the Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 motto of “ALL EQUAL.”
Thanks to the vision of Dr. Tom Waddell, himself an Olympic decathlon participant, the idea of an Olympic-inspired competitive sports festival for the LGBT community was born. Originally called the Gay Olympics, the name was changed to the Gay Games after the U.S. Olympic Committee sued him for use of the Olympic name. In 1982 the first Gay Games was held in San Francisco under Waddell’s founding principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best.™
Since that time, the FGG has continued to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in sports and culture for the LGBT community. While the Gay Games has grown into the world’s largest gay-oriented quadrennial sports and cultural festival over the years, it is still based on Waddell’s welcoming and inspiring principles. This event really is open to everyone – the Gay Games has no requirements or qualifications for people wanting to take part in this special event.
Young or mature, experienced or novice, gay or straight, the Gay Games is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy at his or her own level. The Gay Games emphasis is more about participating, an idea that is also reflected in the Olympic creed: “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not so much to win, but to take part, just as the important thing in life is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
After two years of planning, the May opening registration date for Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 will begin the process of gathering all those who want to be a part of the Gay Games experience and assigning them to their chosen sports and cultural events. Individual participants then will receive a transportation pass and a participation medal for being an important part of this exciting event.
On August 4, 2018 the festive opening ceremony will welcome all the participants to march into the Jean Bouin Stadium located in Paris as proud athletes or artists, sharing their experiences with their co-participants from around the world. And all those attending will have access to an amazing selection of hotels, apartments and other accommodations across Paris.
You never know what will happen for those who attend a Gay Games or how it will impact them. At Gay Games 9 held in the Ohio cities of Cleveland and Akron, an international group of powerlifters (some gay, some straight) came to the conclusion that they wanted to form a group based on their common sense of community, personal achievement and success to create a more inclusive and cooperative environment for the strength sports. The result of their discussions is now known as the International Federation of Alternative Strength and Power (IFASP).
The Paris 2018 organizing team includes former members of the FGG board and leaders of the Paris sports and cultural communities. With support from the city of Paris, the Ile de France region and the national Ministries of Sports, Culture and DIGES (the inter-ministerial delegation for large sporting events), Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 involves the entire Parisian community as well as other communities from across France.
For those athletes and artists who want to come to the Games but can’t afford it, the Inclusion Paris 2018 Foundation is already raising funds for the Gay Games Scholarship Fund. In keeping with its mission of inclusion, the financial support from the foundation and the FGG enables deserving but economically-challenged candidates from under-represented populations and regions a chance to participate.
Supporters known as Gay Games Champions are part of a global network that reaches every country. Their role is to provide information about Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 to those within their reach. If you would like to be a Gay Games Champion, please contact the FGG at
To learn more about Paris 2018 Gay Games 10, take a look at the Paris 2018 brochure at gaygames.org
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