Gay Games Will Go On Without Montreal FGG Says

Wed. November 12, 2003 12:00 AM by

Chicago, Illinois - The Federation of Gay Games will go on as planned but not in Montreal, a spokesperson for the FGG told Tuesday afternoon.

Montreal announced earlier on Tuesday that it is pulling out of the international body that governs the games (story) after the two sides failed to reach a compromise on who would have control of the 2006 event. Montreal, in a statement, said it would hold its own games.

"Their decision was not altogether a surprise," FGG spokesperson Jake Stafford told

The simmering dispute between the two sides reached the boiling point last weekend when organizers for the Montreal games walked out on negotiations aimed at resolving the differences.

"The games do not belong to the host city. They are for the global LGBT community," Stafford said.

The biggest issues dividing the two sides involved the FGG's oversight of the Montreal budget, and the number of athletes who would compete. The Montreal group, headed by Canadian Olympic gold medalist Mark Tewksbury want a much larger number of participants than the FGG recommended, and it insisted on total financial control.

"They are showing a perplexing disregard for the federation and gay teams from around the world," said Stafford.

In a statement, Tewksbury said: "We realize now that it is time to break with the past and with an organization that ultimately represents little more than itself, with only 21 of the 1000 sports teams around the world being FGG members.

"Our event will take place without the FGG. Our vision remains the same. We will offer the best sport games the gay and lesbian athletes of the world have ever seen.”

Montreal 2006 will not be able to call its games the Gay Games. That name is owned by the FGG.

The situation has resulted in a crisis for the FGG which is holding its annual meeting in Chicago. It must now find a new host city for the 2006 games, and cope with a competitive games. In the end, with teams being forced to decide which group they will support, neither side may win.

by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau
©® 2003

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.