By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
As the pandemic winds down and summer activities are slowly coming back, a big question this pride month has been centered around the upcoming combined World Pride and Eurogames due to be held this August in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Last year, the Eurogames experienced some drama after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 Eurogames due to be held in Düsseldorf. Following lackluster Eurogames in 2015 and 2019, Düsseldorf had promised an amazing event that ultimately never came to be. Of course, their situation was hardly unique in that most LGBTQIA+ sports events in the last 18 months have been cancelled, including the 2021 Sin City Classic, 2021 IGLA Championships and others.
The status of the 2021 Eurogames/World Pride has been ambiguous at best, with the organizers staying optimistic about holding the event but potential participants not so sure, especially as a third wave of Covid struck Europe during the spring. Many participants are hesitant to register due to uncertainties in travel restrictions, possible cancellations and frankly, many athletes (like myself) are out of shape due to our training facilities being closed.
To help answer some long-held questions, the organizers of the 2021 Eurogames hosted a virtual press conference to update us on the status of the event as the third wave has finally broken. First off, the organizers confirmed that the Eurogames and World Pride events will still take place as scheduled and remarked that due to the covid-friendly changes, there are more events scheduled than there were previously.
Some of the changes announced include moving concerts to indoor venues to better control for capacity and social distancing. This means that the concerts will be a ticketed event, but they will also be live streamed virtually for people to enjoy who are not present. Also, the World Pride Parade will be split up into smaller marches that’ll encompass various parts of the city.
There will be some minor changes to certain sports in terms of capacity and possible measures to ensure masks, proper hygiene, and social distancing at individual venues. However, all sports events are planning to take place as scheduled. There are currently around 1000 athletes registered for the Eurogames and the event will also include a “sport leader conference” focused on “strengthening the capacity for LGBTQIA+ sports clubs in Europe.”
Primary registration for the Eurogames closes on July 12th (or possibly earlier for each sport if their individual capacity is reached). More information and registration can be found at https://copenhagen2021.com/EuroGames
Photo by Wilfred Gachau via WorldPride/ Eurogames 2021