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Gay Games – Understanding the Image and Scope of the Gay Games

Congratulations to Hong Kong for winning contest for organising Gay Games 2022!

 

1896: 1st Modern Olympic Games
1964: 1st Olympics in Asia (Tokyo)
1982: 1st “Gay Olympics”
2022: 11th edition of Gay Games in Hong
Kong. The 1st Gay Games in Asia?

The Gay Games have changed the world by empowering thousands of LGBT+ athletes and artists worldwide. It is now time for the Games to come to Asia and its World City, Hong Kong. Asia is home to two thirds of the world’s population and Hong Kong is at its heart, with twenty countries within five hours flying time, including all of the largest by population, China.

Despite having only 7m inhabitants, we receive 60m a year and are among the first places new visitors to Asia will travel. Any new event taking place in Hong Kong can be ensured an increase of attendance: an opportunity not to be missed for the participation of all.

Asia needs the impetus to tolerance and inclusion that the Gay Games can provide. While
there are pockets of tolerance, in many regions LGBT+ issues still remain taboo. There is a sharp dichotomy between the drag shows of Bangkok and the criminalisation of same-sex activity in neighbouring Malaysia. By spreading the values of the Gay Games through one of Asia’s more tolerant and open societies, Hong Kong, we can make a real difference to people’s lives in this vast and diverse region.

Hong Kong encapsulates this diversity, from our skyscrapers and shopping malls to sampans and walled villages, our dai pai dong street noodles stores to our internationally starred Michelin Chinese and Western cuisine. We have over 50 international communities that together make up an expatriate community of
over 200,000. Ever since our city was established as a seaport, we have always been a
mixture of East and West, at home in our Chinese roots but taking the best the World has to offer. Diversity and global connectivity through the expatriate Cantonese communities, as well as the home families of our ex pats, ingrains a tolerance and world view into our city’s culture. We are also one of the major sports hubs in
Asia and experts in organizing a wide range of sporting events. We hosted the East Asian
Games in 2009 and the Formula-E in 2016. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is a world famous showcase both of the sport and our city, drawing tens of thousands of visitors annually; the Hong Kong Marathon attracts more than 70,000 runners each year, and we are home to several annual Dragon Boat competitions, a must-attend festival for locals and tourists, as well as one of our proposed new sports for Gay Games 2022.

gay sport events-03

These facilities and welcoming mindset are supported by best-in-class global infrastructure and a deeply-entrenched tourist-friendly culture that welcomes everybody. By 2022, the West Kowloon Cultural District will be completed and
this will provide the top-class Arts and Cultural events to complement the Games, including Choral Concerts, Cantonese Opera. There will also be visual arts exhibitions in our vibrant Soho neighbourhood on Hong Kong Island. By 2022, the beloved old airport at Kai Tak will be transformed to a Sports complex that will host some of our sports events. Our city has never been so exciting! The Games have the potential to draw a record number of international visitors to our home from more countries of origin than ever before. In the 2014 Games in Cleveland, 8,800 athletes participated from sixty different countries generating US$65 million for the local economy.

Hong Kong is the first city to bring the Games to Asia. Given our convenient location and world class reputation, we believe we are a compelling venue that can bring significantly more athletes and visitors than Cleveland. The 2018 Games to be held in
Paris are expected to draw 15,000 participants and up to 10,000 related visitors.

If the same number of people visited Hong Kong, which seems conservative, we believe
the Games can generate income of US$125 to 200 million. This will create numerous job
opportunities and other subsidiary economic activities in the city and help to cement support from the wider public. The positive impact will be felt in the pocket of every taxi driver, waiter, and tourist facing business owner. Today, many LGBT+ people in Hong Kong travel to other cities in Asia to enjoy LGBT events, such as pride parades, gay parties, etc. If we can make Hong Kong the first Asian Gay Games host, we believe this will not only attract short-term tourist money, but also fundamentally change attitudes towards LGBT people and activities in the city.

Hong Kongs Image as Asia’s World City

Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in south-eastern China.
Hong Kong, now part of the Chinese Mainland but still enjoying its own systems and freedoms, is the most spectacular city in Asia. It is a city of diverse cultures and home with a population of 7,7 million people, an average life expectancy of 83,5 years and is ranked as the sixth top safest place on earth.

Diversity and Inclusion

The core mission of the Gay Games is to promote equality of human beings through the
organisation of and participation in an international sporting and cultural event. The spirit of equality is enshrined in the Games’ principle of inclusion for individual differences. Athletes, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, age, level of ability and other differences, are welcome and the Games run in the same vein as the Paralympics, to touch the heart of all people for a more equitable society. As such, the Hong Kong Gay Games organising team remembers vividly along with the rest of the city’s public how invigorating it felt to see Mr SO Wa-wai’s (a local Paralympic runner)
win a gold medal in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008. He has since become a Hong
Kong legend for people with special individual characteristics on how to achieve in the face of adversity and inspires our respect for people with conditions foreign to ourselves, as we hope and believe the Gay Games will do for LGBT people in the eyes of the non-LGBT community.

Gaygame-HongKong

Here in Hong Kong the Equal Opportunity Commission Hong Kong is committed to advocating equal rights for sexual minorities. With their support and the support of the wider community, we believe the ay Games can play an important part in changing public perceptions towards minorities in our society. Hosting such a prestigious global event and demonstrating an enthusiasm for sport and a healthy lifestyle which all can enjoy and should aspire to will, we believe, develop more positive perception of what a fully-rounded human existence the members of our and all LGBT communities enjoy.

To find out more follow the LINK to Hong Kong Gay Games

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