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Johannesburg to receive Gay Games Medal of Honour

Federation of Gay Games pays tribute to past Gay Games bidding cities


August 13, 2009

SAN FRNCISCO — A quick Google search and you’ll find a list of cities that have hosted the Gay Games. Seven cities, San Francisco (twice), Vancouver, New York, Amsterdam, Sydney, Chicago and Cologne (in 2010) share the honour.

But what about Gay Games Toronto? Gay Games LA? Or Johannesburg 2010? Just like during the Olympic bid process, there is stiff competition to host the next Gay Games and only one city can be selected. Toronto, Los Angeles and Johannesburg are examples of cities that marshaled significant resources and energy to bid to host the Gay Games but ultimately were not chosen.

As the Gay Games 2014 Site Selection process winds down and as the world begins final preparations for next summer’s 2010 Gay Games in Germany, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has announced a new award designed to honour all previous Gay Games bidding cities and host city organisations. Each city has been invited to send representation to the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne where each city will be presented with a Medal of Honour during the July 31, 2010, Opening Ceremony.

“Over the last three decades, the Gay Games has been very fortunate to have had many bidders from all over the world step forward to participate in the Site Selection process,” said Emy Ritt and Kurt Dahl, co-president of the Federation of Gay Games. “We believe that any of these bids would have resulted in a successful Gay Games, and are especially moved by those organisations that chose to return to the bidding process a second and third time with even better proposals.”

The 18 cities that will be honoured include: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Cologne, Dallas, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Montreal, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, DC. Each city has been invited to send representatives to Cologne for the special ceremony in an open letter (see below).

Gay Games Bidding History
Gay Games I 1982 – San Francisco (no bidding)
Gay Games II 1986 – San Francisco (No bidding)
Gay Games III 1990 – Vancouver (No bidding)
Gay Games IV 1994 – New York (Host), Sydney
Gay Games V 1998 – Amsterdam (Host), Atlanta, Sydney
Gay Games VI 2002 – Dallas, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Montreal, Sydney (Host), Toronto
Gay Games VII 2006 – Atlanta, Chicago (Host), Los Angeles, Montreal
Gay Games VIII 2010 – Cologne (Host), Johannesburg, Paris
Gay Games IX 2014 – Selection on 9/29/2009 – Bidders are Boston, Cleveland, Washington, D.C.

The eighth edition of the quadrennial Gay Games will be held in Cologne, Germany from 31 July-7 August 2010. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany, visit www.games-cologne.com or phone +49 221 925 2607. For information about or to sponsor the Federation of Gay Games, go to www.gaygames.org.

Open Letter to Gay Games Bidding Cities

Dated July 24, 2009

A Tribute to Gay Games Bidders

On 29 September 2009, in Cologne, Germany, the General Assembly of the Federation of Gay Games will select the Host of Gay Games IX 2014. As this date approaches, we are reminded of the courage, efforts, and resources required by bidders to participate in the Gay Games Site Selection process.

Although it is a joyous occasion for the organisation selected to host the Gay Games, we recognise the disappointment felt by those not chosen, and heartily applaud all candidates for having believed in the Gay Games with the strength and passion required to bid and host this life-changing event. Beyond the bidders’ commitment to the Gay Games, we are particularly grateful for the increased visibility to LGBT sport and culture that their efforts have provided.

Over the last three decades, the Gay Games has been very fortunate to have had many bidders from all over the world step forward to participate in the Site Selection process. We believe that any of these bids would have resulted in a successful Gay Games, and are especially moved by those organisations that chose to return to the bidding process a second and third time with even better proposals.

Without the support of bidders, the Gay Games would not be the premier LGBT international multisport and cultural festival that we know today. Therefore, it seems only fitting to pay tribute to all Gay Games Bidders and to salute them for being key contributors to the almost 30-year Gay Games movement.

To show our appreciation to those who have heeded the call to "take the flame", we invite a representative from each of the past Gay Games Bidding Organisations to join us in Cologne on 31 July 2010, at the Gay Games VIII Opening Ceremony and VIP Reception. FGG will award a Gay Games Medal of Honour to each organisation as a token of our appreciation and gratitude. This award is not only for the efforts and sacrifice of bidders in support of the Gay Games movement, but also for their longstanding cooperation and loyalty over the years.

We will be in contact with each of the Bidding Organisations to provide more details. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you all in Cologne at GGVIII.

On Behalf of FGG Board of Directors,

Emy Ritt & Kurt Dahl Co-Presidents
Issued by Gay Games


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