The changing calendar
Have not had much to report here in recent months as little news has come forth from GLISA and the FGG while their discussions on a single quadrennial event are ongoing. Those plans are supposed to receive an open airing at the FGG meeting in Toronto in October.
Bay Area Reporter sports columnist Roger Brigham, who is the chairman of Wrestlers WithOut Borders and a volunteer with the FGG, wrote recently about the potential impact on the LGBT sports calendar:
A power struggle for the soul of the Gay Games has been going on behind the scenes for years, with diehard sports supporters struggling to retain control of the quadrennial event’s mission as tourism industry interests attempt to change the model into more of a Pride party and conference event. The division erupted in the quadrennial cycle leading up to Gay Games VII in Chicago with the creation of the rival World Outgames, and continues even now as joint discussions are held by Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association and the Federation of Gay Games to establish a single event in 2018.
FGG Co-President Emy Ritt informed the FGG membership August 8 that the Joint Working Group was proposing to call the 2018 festival “Together 2018 Gay Games X 4th Outgames.”
…expect the athletes to foot the bill for a human rights conference to be held as a key component of the Outgames model. Perhaps, as was done at the recently concluded continental Outgames in Vancouver, there will be a live demonstration of how to cleanse an uncircumcised dick. Not sure exactly how that is related to sports.
With an estimated 1.2 million visitors in Vancouver for Pride Week, the Vancouver Outgames last month managed to pull in an estimated 800 combined conference and sports registrants after initially projecting a larger sports slate and 4,000 participants. A dozen sports events were held, and of 40 conference sessions, 29 did not deal with sports issues.
Smaller, individual sports either have not been included in past world and continental Outgames or have not drawn enough numbers to be successful. It is difficult to envision many or any of them surviving beyond one unified quadrennial cycle.