What are the “Gay Olympics?”

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As the upcoming 2014 edition of the Gay Games will be hosted by Cleveland and Akron in the United States, the sporting and cultural event that started out in 1982 as the “Gay Olympics”, has announced that the City of Lights, Paris, will play host to the 2018 edition.

Having to change the name to the “Gay Games” a few weeks before the inaugural event in 1982 after legal objections by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) over name rights, the first edition was held in San Francisco.

The Gay Games are open to all who wish to participate, without regard to sexual orientation and there are no qualifying standards. Competitors hail from many counties, including those where homosexuality remains illegal and hidden.

Conceptualized by Tom Waddell, the Gay Games promote the spirit of inclusion and participation, as well as to promote the pursuit of personal growth in a sporting event.  Similar to the Olympics, the Gay Games flame is also lit at the opening ceremony.

 

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