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One World, One Games

Ian Watson's picture

GLISA and FGG announce framework for One World Event

"Blame Canada" - The history of the Gay Games, and the World Out Games has been a sorrid one, splitting the LGBT sports community, and putting emmese pressure on those who wished to participate, and it all started with Canada.  

After winning the licensing rights to host the 2006 Gay Games, talks between the Montreal and the Federation of Gay Games broke down, eventually resulting in the games being put up for bid again, and eventually being awarded to Chicago.

Undetered, the same city that for years had two competing "Pride" festivals; Montreal Pride and the now defunct Divers Cite, foreged forward.  Organizers in Montreal teamed up with GLISA to create the first ever World Out Games. Thus began years of fracturing the LGBT sporting community.

Due to limited personal and organizational resources, many individual and team participants were forced to choose between Gay Games Chicago and World Outgames Montreal, a situation exacerbated by the two events being a week apart. The closing ceremony of Gay Games Chicago on July 22, 2006, was only seven days before the opening ceremony of World Outgames Montreal on July 29, 2006. This meant that those who competed or performed in Chicago would have little recovery time before Montreal. The split resulted in a lower quality of athletic competition at both events because neither could claim the whole field of competitors.

undefinedundefinedSchedules changed, the Out Games turned around their second games only 3 years later to get them on a different yearly rotation from the Gay Games, but the fact remained, for years the world has had two competing international LGBT sporting compeptitions.

Individuals and teams from the various member leagues of OutSport Toronto have attended and participated in both games over the years, in 2014 we sent an organized delegation, Team Toronto (which quickly transformed into Team Canada once we arrived),  to the Gay Games in Clevland.  We plan and hope to do the same going forward, but face similar challenges of limited resources, so we can only formally support one international comeptition.

Teams, athletes, governing bodies, and organizations have ever since been lobbying the two organizations to join forces and produce one event.

In a Press Release on March 3, 2015, the joint Working Group of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced the creation of a framework for a quadrennial One World Event (1WE). The Working Group will work to perpetuate the history of FGG and GLISA, while also working to bring the LGBTQI sporting community together.

“GLISA is excited on the progress of this vital collaboration that benefits the worldwide LGBT sporting community”

-Tamara Adrian, GLISA Co-President.

The first One World Event, as yet unnamed, is planned for 2022.  While not officially released as of when this article was published, it appears to fall into the Gay Games schedule rotation, four years after the Gay Games 2018 in Paris, which we expect will continue as planned.

This is not a done deal, GLISA and FGG still need to sign a memoradium of understanding before proceeding with the creation of a Transition Commission who will be tasked with bridging the two games together, and a World Congress to oversee the games' future.

“All of us at the FGG are extremely thrilled to see things moving forward in a positive manner”

-Kurt Dahl, FGG Co-President

The site selection commitee is expected to start looking for a host city for the 2022 games later this year.

Exciting times ahead for the international LGBTQ Sports community as this develops.

UPDATE: On May 19, 2015 it was announced the memorandum of understanding was signed.
Read About it Here.