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Federation of Gay Games News

Here you will find all the latest news from The Federation of Gay Games and on sport and culture in our community. 

If you have any news you would like to include or have any media enquiries please contact the relevant person on our contact page.

You can also check out the history of the Gay Games in photos and videos by visiting our massive online archives HERE.

  • 06 Jun 2021 11:09 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Source: New York Times 5 June, 2021

    Legislation labeling discrimination “unacceptable” has been blocked by conservative lawmakers, showing how far the country has to go to fulfill the goal of equality enshrined in the Olympic charter.

    When Fumino Sugiyama, then a fencer for the Japan women’s national team, decided to come out to one of his coaches as a transgender man, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

    What followed shocked him in its brutality.

    “You’ve just never had sex with a real man,” the coach responded, and then offered to perform the deed himself, according to a letter that Mr. Sugiyama wrote last fall to Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.

    Mr. Sugiyama, 39, who is now an activist, wanted to give Mr. Bach an unvarnished picture of the deeply entrenched discrimination in Japan, particularly in the rigid world of sports. He also hoped Mr. Bach would lobby the Japanese government on a bill protecting gay and transgender rights. Doing so, Mr. Sugiyama wrote, could shield “the next generation of athletes from what I experienced.”

    But now, with the Tokyo Olympics less than two months away, hopes for the bill are running out. While a bipartisan committee advanced a draft of the measure, even its modest goal of labeling discrimination “unacceptable” has proved too much for conservative lawmakers, who have blocked consideration of the bill by the full Parliament.

    To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

  • 21 May 2021 11:31 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)


    Want to learn more about Gay Games' legacy? We'll be discussing just that in this month's English 'Coffee with GGHK' podcast

    Earlier this week on May 17, the world commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This is why, in this month's podcast we will discuss Gay Games' legacy of diversity and equality throughout the years.

    We will also talk about how we can expect to create unity and positive attitudes in Asia and beyond with Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022’s unique combination of sport, arts, culture, and fun.

    Our host, Betty Grisoni, will lead a panel with:
    • Jessica Waddell-Lewinstein Kopp – the daughter of Gay Games founder, Dr. Tom Waddell
    • Kimberly Hadley – Officer of Sport on the board of the Federation of Gay Games & Vice President Female - Diversity & North American Referee Director at IGLFA - International Gay and Lesbian Football Association
    Date: Thursday 27 May 2021
    Time: 7-8pm Hong Kong time (12pm British Summer Time; 7am Eastern Time)

    We hope you can join us!

    Register HERE.

    This podcast is in English and a recording will be available on our YouTube channel

  • 10 May 2021 10:09 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Applications are now being accepted for the Gay Games Hong Kong Funding Support program. See the details below in three languages...



    Welcome to the Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 Funding Support ("the Program") application! To learn more about the Program before you apply, visit:

    Please be sure to read the following information carefully before you proceed.

    You might be automatically eligible for a registration fee and participation fee waiver if you meet one of the following three criteria:


    Show details


    Te damos la bienvenida.

    ¡Te damos la bienvenida a la solicitud de apoyo financiero de los Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 ("el Programa")! Para obtener más información sobre el programa antes de presentar la solicitud, visita:

    Asegúrate de leer la siguiente información detenidamente antes de continuar.

    Es posible que puedas ser elegible automáticamente a una exención de la tarifa de inscripción y la tarifa de participación si cumples con alguno de los siguientes tres criterios:



    访问2022年第11届香港同同场作乐资助计划 请页面!若想一步了解该计划,请查看:



    1. ...

  • 22 Apr 2021 18:00 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, April 21, 2021 / - The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) is pleased to announce the Site Inspectors for the 2026 Games Host City selection process. Martha Ehrenfeld, Joan Miró, R. Tony Smith and Annette Wachter were carefully chosen from over 50 worldwide applications. The team, led by FGG Officer of Site Selection, David Killian, will play a vital role in this final part of the bidding process.

    Key responsibilities of site inspectors include traveling to the three finalist cities bidding for the 2026 Gay Games XII, Guadalajara (MEX), Munich (DEU) and Valencia (ESP) to review the venues, infrastructure and all other aspects of the bid organization, having a rounded understanding of FGG history, processes and quality standards, understanding the complexities of producing sports and cultural events, and assisting with the final report once inspections are complete.

    Site Inspections take place in August 2021 and will feature live social media reporting from the bid cities. The team will present its official reports at the FGG General Assembly November 2021 in Hong Kong, where final voting will take place.

    Martha Ehrenfeld, a native New Yorker, first volunteered with the Gay Games in 1994 and has attended 5 Gay Games. Currently an avid tennis player and occasional runner, she has dabbled in many sports including volleyball, basketball, squash, pickleball, triathlon, ice hockey, Nordic skiing and one unsuccessful curling adventure. Her FGG and Gay Games career since 1994 has included being a representative for Team SF to the FGG, part of the Cleveland GG9 Steering Committee, and co-chair of the FGG’s Sports Committee from 2012-2018. At the Paris Gay Games, she was involved in the scholarship recipients’ end of week workshop, helping them plan how to take what they had experienced back to their country and create their own change through sport and culture. Martha and her wife Carla live in San Francisco.

    Joan Miró was born and raised in Barcelona but has lived in several cities in Europe and the USA. He has participated in several Gay Games since Amsterdam 1998, an experience that inspired him to create the LGBTI+ sports club Panteres Grogues in Barcelona in 2000 of which he was President until 2009. The club organized the 2008 EuroGames 2008 and Joan served as President of the Organizing Committee. Joan has also served as President of the IGLFA (International Gay and Lesbian Association) from 2002 to 2005. His current sports are running, soccer and padel tennis.

    R. Tony Smith has been civically involved with boards, commissions, festivals, non-profit organizations and LGBTQ+ sports for 20 years and served the FGG Board as the International Champions Coordinator working to recruit worldwide athletes to the 2014 Gay Games, and then on the Board as the Officer of Communications from 2014-2018. Tony continues to play competitive volleyball and produce large scale sports events with the North American and Colorado Gay Volleyball Associations and serves on the Team Colorado Board of Directors. He has been married to his husband for 19 years.

    Annette Wachter ran a strategy and organization consultancy in the Media sector for more than 20 years prior to retirement. Annette has been involved in LGBTQ+ causes for more than four decades, starting as the organizer for women's studies at the University of Cologne and Rhiannon, a cultural group for women. In the 1990s, Annette became treasurer of Sports Club Janus, the largest multisport club in Europe which led to her becoming Co-President of the Cologne Gay Games 2010. Annette became General Secretary and President of EGLSF from 2013-2021. She lives in Germany with her wife.

    Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 will take place 11th-19th November 2022. This will be the first time a Gay Games has taken place in Asia, and it will feature 36 sports, 14 cultural events and a rich calendar of cultural events for 12,000 participants and 75,000 spectators. Pre-registration is now open; for more information go to

    The Gay Games has enormous impact on host cities in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history, and most importantly furthering all matters of LGBTQ+ equality. The site selection process is one of the Federation’s most vital tasks, and the FGG takes great pride in the lengthy and thorough process.

    Hosting the Gay Games: The positive financial impact to the host city of the Gay Games is clear, as evidenced by the official economic impact highlights from the 2018 Gay Games X in Paris: Total economic impact: US $117.9 million. Locals and non-locals contributed a total of US $72.7 million to the economy, in the areas of lodging, dining and entertainment, travel and other necessities, and tourism. An additional US $45.8 million was generated in local incomes – roughly the equivalent of 1,429 full-time jobs. 23% of participants were from France (12% from Paris). 40% of local participants said they would have traveled outside Paris, France to participate in the Gay Games, taking their spend of US $9.2 million to another region.

  • 07 Apr 2021 11:41 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    Reprinted from The Springfield Student, a publication of Springfield College

    By Jack Margaros
    April 6, 2021

    Nearly six years ago on April 17, Springfield College instituted Tom Waddell Day.

    It is a celebration dedicated to one of the College’s greatest athletes ever. Waddell, before competing in the 1968 Olympics as a decathlete, was a three-sport powerhouse at Springfield. He was part of the football, gymnastics and track and field teams — excelling the most in track and field.

    He entered the 1968 Olympics as a decathlete and placed sixth. Aside from his athletic endeavors, Waddell became a physician, traveling around the globe to provide medical service to impoverished areas. He was a fierce social justice advocate, supporting his teammates Tommie Smith and John Carlos when they protested at the Olympics.

    Almost a decade after, in 1976, Waddell came out as gay and appeared in the “Couples” section of People magazine with his then partner, Charles Deaton. Waddell founded the “Gay Games” in 1982, an event similar to the Olympics that promotes equality for all, in particular athletes that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

    Waddell was a humanitarian in the truest sense. He passed away in 1987, so he was unable to attend Springfield’s dedication day in 2015.

    Although, his daughter, Jessica Waddell-Lewinstein Kopp, was there — accompanied by her mother, Sara Lewinstein, and Jack Savoia – Waddell’s classmate in the late '50s. (editor's note: neither Jessica nor Sara were present at the inaugural Tom Waddell day in 2015. The Gay Games was represented by Honorary Life Member Jeffry Pike of Boston, MA).

    She was a young adult at the time, and was starting to understand the scope of her father’s legacy. More importantly, she learned of his affinity for Springfield College.

    “It really was a pivotal moment in his life where everything came together and made sense,” Waddell-Lewinstein Kopp said. “He knew what direction he wanted to go with his life and I think he can attribute that to Springfield College.”

    Jessica’s father passed away when she was three. She doesn’t remember much about him, but the memories she does have are rich: Tom teaching her words, asking her what color his new car should be and racing around the track. She likes to think Tom would let her win.

    “They’re short and small memories that I’ve held on to for all of these years,” she said.

    Growing up alongside his legacy, Jessica was exposed to the countless stories from her relatives and family friends. Tom’s life was also well documented by various media outlets, so she was able to learn more about her father through articles, interviews and videos.

    As she approached adulthood, Jessica came to the realization that she and her father shared many of the same traits. It became especially clear one day as she laid on her mother’s floor.

    When she was a teenager, Jessica and her mother moved out of her childhood home where Tom lived. She wasn’t aware, but there was a handful of cassette tapes buried in the house that Tom had recorded for his daughter. Audio diaries of daily occurrences in the years leading up to his passing.

    Tenants that lived in the house ended up taking the tapes for themselves, only to realize years later that they were meant for Jessica.

    It wasn’t until she reached her twenties that she had gotten her hands on the tapes, receiving an unexpected package in the mail. She didn’t own a cassette player, so she traveled to her mother’s house.

    Stretched out on the floor, listening to her father’s voice, she felt a stronger connection.

    “It was him talking directly to me about what he did that day, how he was feeling,” she said. “I realized that a lot of me is him…It’s just amazing that even though he wasn’t around, I still have many of his traits and I think that’s made me closer to him over the years.”

    Jessica is naturally drawn to continuing her father’s legacy. She’s been involved with the advancement of the Gay Games as an avid supporter and volunteer when she can. She stands for a lot of the same things her father did, such as equity for the LGBTQ+ community.

    “We still need to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights on a global scale,” she said, explaining that not all countries are as accepting of the community as America is. “I’ve had a number of conversations over the years where people don’t realize how hard it still is to be someone from the LGBTQ+ community in the world.”

    The Gay Games has continued to evolve over the years, with more countries, events and participants being involved. Gay Games 11 is slated for 2022 in Hong Kong (

    “When my dad was alive, it was just this really small event that had a really global impact right off the bat,” Jessica said. “It’s only continued over the years to grow.”

    After visiting Springfield for the first time in 2015, Jessica will return virtually on Friday, April 9. She will serve as the keynote speaker for Springfield College’s sixth Annual Sports and Social Justice Symposium, highlighting her father’s legacy, and continuing to push for support of the Gay Games.

    “I believe in everything that he stands for,” she said. “He was a remarkable human being. Even though I can never accomplish what he did in his lifetime, I still hope to bring some positivity in the world and continue his legacy.”

    Friday’s event is set to begin at 1 p.m. Following Jessica’s presentation, a current Springfield College student-athlete will be recognized with the Tom Waddell “Level the Playing Field” Award. This annual award goes to a student-athlete who has worked diligently to build a fairer and more just world.

    (Editor: virtually attend the Springfield College’s sixth Annual Sports and Social Justice Symposium on Friday, April 9 at 1pm EDT at THIS LINK.)

  • 26 Mar 2021 11:01 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    On Thursday we hosted a webinar to welcome the first of our new Platinum Partners of Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022!

    They are Marriott Bonvoy and YouTube and we are delighted to welcome them to what will be a historic event - the first ever Gay Games in Asia.

    We were thrilled to hear directly from Julie Purser, Vice President, Marketing, Loyalty & Partnership, Asia Pacific, Marriott International, why Marriott Bonvoy is partnering with Gay Games 11 in Hong Kong 2022.

    The webinar event also included feature guest speakers Stephen Phillips (Director General, Invest HK) and Ming Wai Lau (GGHK Advisory Committee Member, Chairman Ocean Park).

    Watch the replay of the webinar on our YouTube channel HERE.

  • 22 Mar 2021 15:22 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    You are invited!


    Please join the Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 team, at this special event where they are excited to announce some of their first sponsoring Platinum Partners.

    Eager to be a part of the first Gay Games to take place in Asia, the renowned brands will share their perspectives on the significance of a partnership and the value of being part of the Games.

    The event will also feature guest speakers Stephen Phillips (Director General, Invest HK) and Ming Wai Lau (GGHK Advisory Committee Member, Chairman Ocean Park). 

    Date: Thursday 25 March 2021 
    Time: 7-8 pm Hong Kong Time; 11am-12 pm London Time; 7-8 am New York Time

    This webinar event will be presented on Zoom. To register, click HERE.

    We hope you can join for this important announcement!

    Together - Let’s Make History

  • 22 Feb 2021 23:48 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    NOTE: This webinar has already happened. You may view a recording of it (plus other webinars) by clicking HERE.

    Happy Lunar New Year, wishing you a happy and safe year of the Ox!

    Join us in our second monthly webinar of 2021. This month, we will celebrate our volunteers and you can learn more about the benefits of volunteering. A passionate group of 130+ professional volunteers is generously giving up their time to help deliver the Gay Games Hong Kong.

    Our host Betty Grisoni will outline the GGHK volunteer program and you’ll also meet some volunteers, who will share their personal experiences and stories.

    Our guests include:

    • Joanie Evans - Co-President at the Federation of Gay Games
    • Greg Morley - Gay Games Hong Kong Director of People and Organisation
    • David Wong - Gay Games Hong Kong Chief of Staff 
    • Candice Lee - Gay Games Hong Kong Sport Coordinator Golf

    When: Thursday 25 February at 7pm Hong Kong time (6am - New York / 11am - London). 

    Please register here to join the online Zoom webinar

    Note: In English and a recording will be available on our YouTube channel.

  • 01 Feb 2021 10:04 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    February 01, 2021, 10:45 GMT

    The 2026 Gay Games XII host city shortlist vote by the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) General Assembly took place 31 January 2021 whittling it down from eight to the final three. Twenty cities from around the world had initially expressed interest in hosting the 2026 Games.

    The shortlisted host cities are Guadalajara (MEX), Munich (GER), and Valencia (ESP).

    "The FGG wishes to thank all eight bid cities who truly put forth wonderful bids that illuminated the Federation's principles, and we look forward to continuing the process with these three finalists.”

    — David Killian, Officer of Site Selection, FGG

    The FGG expresses gratitude to the five (5) other cities for the bids: Auckland (NZ), Brisbane (AU), San Diego (USA), Taipei (TW), and Toronto (CAN).

    Site inspections are the next steps in the bid process, to begin tentatively in June/July 2021, ultimately depending on the status of COVID-19. The final vote determining the host of Gay Games XII will take place at the FGG's Annual General Assembly meeting in Hong Kong in November 2021.

    Hosting the Gay Games
    The positive financial impact to the host city of the Gay Games is clear, as evidenced by the official economic impact highlights from the 2018 Gay Games X in Paris:

    • Total economic impact: US $117.9 million.
    • Locals and non-locals contributed a total of US $72.7 million to the economy, in the areas of lodging, dining and entertainment, travel and other necessities, and tourism.
    • An additional US $45.8 million was generated in local incomes - roughly the equivalent of 1,429 full-time jobs.
    • 23% of participants were from France (12% from Paris).
    • 40% of local participants said they would have traveled outside Paris, France to participate in the Gay Games, taking their spend of US $9.2 million to another region.

    Gay Games 11 will take place in Hong Kong from 11-19 November 2022.

    About the Federation of Gay Games
    The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, as a way to empower thousands of LGBTQ+ athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship. It was first held in San Francisco in 1982. Subsequent Gay Games were held in San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), Cleveland+Akron (2014), and Paris (2018). Gay Games 11 will be held in Hong Kong in 2022. Visit for more information.

    “Gay Games,” “Federation of Gay Games,” the interlocking circles device, and the phrase “Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best” are trademarks of the Federation of Gay Games, Inc. Trademarks are registered in the USA, Canada, Benelux, the UK, Germany, and Australia.

    Address: 584 Castro Street, Suite 343, San Francisco, CA 94114 USA. Phone: +1-866-459-1261

    Follow us on Social Media: Twitter Facebook IG

    All Media Enquiries Please contact Shiv Paul, FGG VP of External Relations. +44 7717 244097
    Note: FGG is entirely staffed by passionate volunteers, please take this into account for response times to your media enquiry.

  • 19 Dec 2020 19:36 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

    GALA Choruses is a close supporter of the Federation of Gay Games and the choral program which takes place during each quadrennial Gay Games. Alas, due to COVID-19, they have been forced to cancel their own massive quadrennial event in 2020. Their attempts to reschedule it to 2021 have also fallen victim to the pandemic.

    According to their website, GALA Choruses is committed to continuing to serve the LGBTQIA+ Choral Movement during this unprecedented time, but the simple truth is that they cannot continue this work without your help. For GALA to survive until a 2024 Festival, they are in need of tax-deductible donations (to the extent allowable by U.S. law). You can help us continue to change the world through song; you can be the change! Visit their website for more information.

    Meanwhile, to add some virtual choral music to the holidays, please join GALA’s two -part FREE holiday concert featuring performances from more than 25 LGBTQ+ choruses. Check out the teaser video HERE

    The first concert took place on 17 December but may be viewed right now HERE 

    The second concert will be on 20 December at 5pm EST. Subscribe for the free show HERE .

    Happy musical holidays, everyone!

© 2020 The Federation of Gay Games

The Newsletter of the FGG



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San Francisco, CA 94114 USA

Phone: +1-866-459-1261

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