Gay Games 10, taking place in Paris next August, has nearly 4,000 athlete registrations, which organizers say is “ahead of schedule.” This is very positive news to some athletes who may be wary of another quadrennial LGBT sporting event after the cancelation of the Outgames in May due in large part to low registration.
The Gay Games have already registered over a thousand more athletes than the Outgames ever had, and the Paris event is still over 10 months away. The Gay Games registration cost increases on Oct. 1, and organizers are hoping for strong registration numbers to come in in the next 10 days. You can register for the Gay Games by clicking here.
The numbers certainly give a strong indication for a potentially very successful Gay Games in 2018, which could be the most well-attended quadrennial LGBT sports event in a decade.
Some sports are filling up particularly fast, including rowing, golf and water polo, according to Gay Games 10 co-president Pascale Reinteau.
Event organizers have some fantastic venues already secured, including the brand new stadium Jean Bouin for the opening ceremony, the Grand Palais for the opening party, and the Gay Games Village will be located at City Hall Plaza.
The Gay Games have also secured powerful city, regional and national governmental support, which they say will guarantee the event takes place with all of its pageantry and glory. Laura Flessel-Colovic, a fencer and the most decorated French female Olympian of all time, is the French Minister of Sport and one of the patrons of the Gay Games. The Ministry of the Army and Interior Ministry are working with organizers on security plans for the event. And Gay Games 10 is on the official calendar of the French Federal government.
“There has never been such institutional support behind a city to host the Gay Games,” Reinteau told Outsports.
Also important to note is that Manuel Picaud, the other co-president of Gay Games 10, is a banker by profession. Overshooting expectations and failing to budget effectively have been the downfalls of some past events, including the canceled Outgames.
Picaud assures he is on top of this and adjusting plans and expectations constantly. They have also hired an outside auditor to make sure there are no illicit financial issues and to guarantee total transparency.
“As a banker, I also prepared with our team three plans depending on number of participants, the amount of sponsorship received, and other planning information, and we are working with an official auditor to review our accountants,” Picaud said. “We are particularly careful with registration fees and are ensuring that they are not spent for anything other than delivering the Games.”
In addition to sporting events, ceremonies and parties, organizers are also hosting a conference on equality in sports.
“This conference is a way to understand our goals and provide a legacy for the sport movement,” Picaud said.