Reprinted from Guardian.com 23 January 2018
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Above The Parc des Princes (top) and Jean-Bouin stadia by Robbert Frank Hagens/Alamy
(Below is the section which highlights Paris as a destination. To read the complete article, click the link above)
The most open sports event in the world gets underway in Paris this summer, with the start of the 10th Gay Games at the Stade Jean-Bouin. The games, which have been running every four years since 1982, were founded by the late US Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell to challenge negative stereotypes, combat homophobia and give the gay community dignity. But they are open to all, according to the founding principles of diversity, respect, equality, solidarity and sharing. “We want the widest possible participation, regardless of age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, health status or athletic ability. Everyone is welcome,” says the Federation of Gay Games website. To that end, around 40,000 fans are expected to cheer on 15,000 amateur athletes from 70 countries who will participate in 36 sports from track-and field-classics to events such as the roller derby, the pink flamingo (a kind of water show) and, naturally, pétanque. But, more significantly, this is a celebration of inclusion, so there will be parties, concerts, fashion shows and art exhibitions, too. It’s all part of mayor Anne Hidalgo’s initiative to make Paris “the city of all lovers.”
Gay Games 10, 4-12 August