Miami Beach One of Two Finalists to Host the World OutGames in 2017
The Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) has announced that Miami and Miami Beach is up against Reykjavik, Iceland for the honor of hosting the 2017 World Outgames. GLISA co-president Daniel Vaudrin made the announcement during a press conference for the 2013 Antwerp World Outgames.
GLISA is the governing body of the World Outgames. Reykjavik just successfully hosted the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics completion in May and June of 2012.
The first World Outgames was held in 2006 in Montreal and attracted more than 12,000 participants. The event was based on three components: Sport, Culture and Human Rights. The second World Outgames was held in Copenhagen in 2009. It was an attractive, open and inclusive event that welcomed the local and international LGBT community as well as the wider population of Copenhagen and Denmark.
The Miami Beach-Miami Sports & Cultural League, Inc. is the group behind the successful bid to make Miami and Miami Beach a finalist in the selection for the host city for the 2017 event. The thirteen-member league is comprised of civic leaders with extensive backgrounds in community events who are active members in the South Florida LGBT community with widespread expertise in human rights, cultural and sporting events, activities and organizations.
Members include the Executive Director of Miami Beach Pride Ivan Cano, Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission Jose Sotolongo, Social Catering Sales Director for Centerplate at the Miami Beach Convention Center Bruce Townsend and Miami-Beach Vice-Mayor Michael Gongora.
“There’s not a city in the world more capable or more excited to host the Outgames than Miami Beach and Miami,” Townsend said in a statement released by the League. “Miami Beach and Miami exemplify the true spirit and true culture of world-renowned South Florida. From the sexy sands of South Beach to the exotic wildlife of Zoo Miami to the natural beauty of the Florida Everglades, South Florida overflows with the energy of constant activity — literally 24/7. We are eager to showcase our hometown to visitors from throughout the world.”
Not only is the League excited and committed to ensuring the games comes to South Florida, but so is Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
“For years, Miami-Dade has been home to a vibrant, thriving LGBT community, so we’re a natural fit to host the 2017 World Outgames,” Mayor Gimenez told SFGN. “Events like this one present an opportunity to introduce our beautiful hometown to a truly global audience and to show them why so many diverse people have chosen to make this wonderful place their home.”
GLISA Co-President Daniel Vaudrin told SFGN that the selection committee should have a decision on which city will be hosting the 2017 games by the end of February.
“We sent out an email to the bid committees for both cities,” Vaudrin said. “Hopefully logistics will work out and we will all be able to meet in February.”
Vaudrin also added that the selection committee is committed to making a decision by Feb. 28.
“That’s really the last day we have to choose,” Vaudrin said laughing.
The 2013 games will be taking place in Antwerp, Belgium and are slated for late July 2013.