Metro Weekly

D.C. submits bid for Gay Games XI in 2022

City previously bid to host the quadrennial LGBT sports event in 2014, but lost out to Cleveland

Brent Minor Photo by Ward Morrison

Brent Minor – Photo: Ward Morrison

Washington, D.C. is trying again for a chance to host the Gay Games in 2022 after losing out to Cleveland in 2014.

Held every four years, the Gay Games serves as an Olympics of sorts for non-professional LGBT athletes from around the world. The Gay Games, which will take place from July 16-23, 2022, is expected to draw anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 athletes, and between 80,000 to 100,000 spectators to the lucky host city. The event will next be held in Paris in 2018.

“Few events have the prestige or the international focus of the Gay Games and GGDC2022 is proud to submit this bid on behalf of the 34 LGBT sports teams of the Washington, D.C. region and, indeed, our whole community,” Brent Minor, the head of Team DC and the chair of the Bid Committee. “We know that Washington has the experience, passion, and international appeal that make us an excellent choice.”

Supporting the District’s bid are three honorary chairs: out lesbian sports legend Billie Jean King, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Paul Tagliabue, the former Commissioner of the NFL. All three have written letters in support of D.C.’s bid to the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), which will pick the eventual host city. Also supporting the bid are the DC Council, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“When so many things in the world divide us, events like the Gay Games bring us together and give us the opportunity to celebrate our differences while recognizing our many similarities,” Bowser said in her letter to the FGG.

Other cities that are bidding to host Gay Games XI are: Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Hong Kong and Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Knowing that we have such a great leadership team including the Mayor, a true sports legend and LGBT icon in Billie Jean King, along with 34 local LGBT sports teams and cultural organizations like the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, the Different Drummers Band and the Reel Affirmations Film Festival, really gives us all confidence that we have a great chance to move to the final round,” Minor said of D.C.’s chances.

Three finalists will be named on March 1, 2017, after which organizers from each city will be asked to make a presentation arguing the case for why they should be selected. That presentation will be made at the annual FGG meeting in the fall of 2017.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com