Orlando is officially out of the running to host Gay Games 2018.
On June 1, the International Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced that Limerick, London and Paris would continue the bidding process. Orlando had made it to the top five cities but didn’t make this last cut.
According to Dennis Sneyers, officer for site selection, all of the top five have been “highly professional and responsive” to the demands of the bid process.
“This cycle has brought us particularly outstanding bids from Amsterdam, Limerick, London, Orlando and Paris,” Sneyers said in a media release. “Each group has brought a truly distinctive take on what the Gay Games can be, and has enriched our own thinking about our event.”
Along with Orlando, Amsterdam was the other city cut when they pool of potential hosts went from five to three.
FGG co-president Emy Ritt said the final rankings are the result of the combination of many individual decisions.
“Orlando proposed a most exciting vision for Gay Games X, making the most of the unique facilities available in that tourist mecca,” Ritt said in a media release. “We know that either of these two bidders could have produced excellent Gay Games, and we want to thank those involved and their supporters for the immense amount of work of the highest quality they have contributed.”
In the meantime, Orlando’s Gay Games bid committee, Orlando 2018, continues to be active in the local community. On May 28, the organization launched the “Bench the Hate” campaign promoting awareness of bullying in the sports community with a focus on prevention. Organizers say it is an opportunity for people who have overcome bullying to stay up and tell their stories to bring relief and courage to others experiencing it.
“Our bid to host the 2018 Gay Games in Orlando has truly brought the community together, but also brought to light some of the challenges athletes go through on a daily basis,” Mikael Frank Audebert, Project Director for Orlando 2018, said. “It should not be a choice between being able to play and being authentic. These two should be embraced together and celebrated.”
In the coming weeks, Orlando 2018 will release a plan to take “Bench the Hate” beyond Orlando in close partnership with the Central Florida Sports Commission.
From our media partner Watermark