London ramps up its bid to host the Gay Games

A bid to host the Gay Games in London could provide the city with a global distinction for being welcoming of all sexualities, organisers have claimed.

London is up against Limerick and Paris in the vote to host the 2018 Gay Games, in which openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes compete against one another across 34 sports, reports.

Since being founded in 1982, the Games have been held in illustrious cities around the world, including New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Sydney, Cologne and Amsterdam. They welcome around 15,000 athletes from 70 countries, making it a huge event that is certainly comparable with the much more widely-known Olympic Games.

Cleveland will be hosting the event in 2014, so it is there that delegates will eventually decide on the winner, before announcing it to the world.

If London was to be selected, its hosting of the Games would bring with it global appeal in both a sporting and business sense. It would not only see thousands of athletes descend on the city, but also LGBT business owners taking in the capital’s conference centres to develop their business aspirations globally.

Just as the Olympic Games brought with it huge business benefits, so too could the Gay Games.

Speaking to ahead of the announcement, bid team chief executive, Alex Davis, explained: “There is still a lot to achieve in professional sport in terms of acceptance of gay people: there is still no openly gay tennis player or Premier League Footballer.

“Hosting the Games would demonstrate in an open and celebratory environment that a gay player is as good as any other. For young people coming to terms with their sexuality it would be good to have more role models in sport.”