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Pride House lives, set to welcome fans and athletes during London Olympics

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Pride House was born at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as a place where LGBT fans and athletes would be welcomed to the Olympic Games. Plans for a bigger venue in London fell through when organizers faced a lack of funding. Now several organizations including the Federation of Gay Games have stepped forward to host Pride House in London from Aug. 3-7. Their press release is below.

LONDON -- Pride Sports UK, in collaboration with the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation, the Federation ofGay Games, GLISA International, the LGBT Consortium, and the Pride House Foundation, is pleased toannounce Pride House 2012, a welcoming space for all athletes, staff, spectators and friends of London2012. Pride House 2012 will be open from 3 to 7 August at CA House in Limehouse Basin, with the PrideHouse 2012 festival continuing in various venues through 12 August, the day of the closing ceremony of theOlympic Games.

Pride House 2012 will celebrate sport for all while bringing together members and friends of the worldwideLGBT community to view live screenings of London 2012 and discuss relevant topics related to LGBT sport.The varied programme will also include live music from local LGBT organisations, exhibits, and videopresentations, as well as an associated sports programme, including a Football v Homophobia footballtournament.

Featured as part of Pride House 2012 will be an exhibition provided by Pride Sports UK and the EuropeanGay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) entitled “Against the Rules’, presenting the history of LGBTsport through profiles of pioneering men and women athletes.

Lou Englefield, Pride Sports UK Executive Director, stated: “Pride House 2012 will provide a welcomingspace for all, from Olympic athletes to recreational sports enthusiasts and spectators. Our aim is to welcomeeveryone to learn more about the vibrant LGBT sport movement while celebrating the London games.”

Emy Ritt, Federation of Gay Games Co-President, added: “With the opening of Pride House 2012, wecontinue to build on the legacy of 1968 gay Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell, founder of the Gay Games, thelargest international sporting event open to all. We are pleased that Pride House 2012 willshowcase LGBT sport and culture and the many clubs and organisations that have been created as a resultof the first Gay Games in 1982.”

Olympic speed skater and Gay Games Ambassador Blake Skjellerup stated: “My visit to Pride House duringthe Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was a major influence on my public coming out, and the support Ireceived after doing so was overwhelming. Yet there is still a lack of LGBT based role-models in sport. Ibelieve it is important for everyone, and especially young people, to see that no matter whom you are orwhere you come from, you can still succeed and reach your highest levels. The legacy from the LondonPride House 2012 for future Olympic Games will make a difference!”

Paul Brummitt, secretary of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA International)expressed his satisfaction with the project: "Pride House 2012 will be a showcase for local clubs, as well asregional and international events such as the World and Continental Outgames, the Gay Games, and theEuroGames."

Chad Molleken, chairman of the Pride House Foundation, stated: “Pride House 2012 will continue to build onwhat began in Vancouver, bringing together the entire community and allies. The Pride House Foundationaims to increase the number of role models in sport by supporting athletes, sports organisations andeducational initiatives beyond 2012.”

Scheduling is in progress, and propositions are welcome. Pride House 2012 welcomes all offers of help,whether financial, value in kind, or volunteers.

For more information about Pride House 2012, contact Lou Englefield: lou@pridesports.org.ukTel: +44 (0)7949 604610Web: pridehouse2012.org