Track and field, rugby 7s and field hockey will no longer take place at the quadrennial event. In addition, sailing will now be a non-competitive “experience session.”
Federation of Gay Games co-president Sean Fitzgerald previously told Outsports that “team sports” may be canceled. Given track and field is an individual sport, it now raises concern about further cancelations, though Fitzgerald said all cancelations would happen by the end of May.
The event has also lost a venue, as the “Hong Kong Football Club informed them on Wednesday that it would no longer provide a venue for the football finals,” according to the HKFP.
Just last week, the Federation of Gay Games sent out an email blast highlighting its “secured funding and venues.”
The email blast also claimed that, “Since early May, registrations have doubled.” It’s unclear how the elimination of three sports and the reduction of a fourth will impact those registration numbers, which are at historic lows already, as Outsports previously reported.
Even with doubled registration numbers over the last month, that would put registrations now across 18 sports at 800 people.
The FGG insists that, with the funding the event has already secured, there will be an event called the “Gay Games” in Hong Kong, though it will at this point look nothing like any of the previous Gay Games in scope.
People in and outside of the FGG have been predicting massive problems with Hong Kong as a host for years, even before the COVID pandemic.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a “reconsider” travel advisory for Hong Kong, saying that American citizens “may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime,” adding that many foreigners have been unjustly detained.
“Reconsider travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macau due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws,” the State Department says in their advisory.
It will be the first time track and field — a longtime staple of the Gay Games — will not be at a Gay Games event, though Guadalajara may still host the sport. These Gay Games are being split between Hong Kong and Guadalajara, the first time that has happened.
The Gay Games were founded by an Olympic track and field athlete, Dr. Tom Waddell. The opening and closing ceremonies of the original Gay Games in 1982 were held at Kezar Stadium, a track and field venue.
The Gay Games are scheduled to take place in November, just five months away.