April 16 marks 100 days out from the opening ceremony of the Second World Outgames in Copenhagen. We've gotten a number of requests for information about the event, mostly people wondering how big the event will be. Gerry Hail, a spokesperson for the event, told us yesterday that they have 4,000 registered athletes, and that they're expecting 6,500 total; That's down from the 8,000 they were targeting just a couple months ago. Hail said their official registration deadline is May 1; It certainly seems optimistic to think they'll get 2,500 registered in the final 15 days, but I guess it's better to be optimistic, or maybe they'll extend the deadline. He said that registration for aquatics events has been particularly high, since IGLA is having its annual championships in conjunction with the Outgames.
The lower numbers aren't a big surprise, as the Outgames has to contend with a worldwide recession. My guess is that if the economy was now what it was two years ago, they'd be hitting their projected numbers (which were already refreshingly conservative). It'll be a fun event regardless of the lower attendance: If you can't find a way to have fun with 5,000 athletes descending on a beautiful city like Copenhagen with week-long parties and festivities, that's not really on them.
For the last few months, we've been highlighting athletes headed to the Outgames. Our latest featured athletes are an HIV-positive runner and a beautiful ballroom dancer.