French Federation Announces Support for Gay Games

Fri. October 29, 2004 12:00 AM

Paris, France - At its July 2004 Executive Committee meeting, the Fédération Sportive Gaie et Lesbienne voted virtually unanimously to give its unreserved support to the upcoming Gay Games to be held in Chicago.

The meeting was also attended by a representative of the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) and two representatives of the Federation of Gay Games. The discussions at the meeting focused on the division of the sports community. In the end, the weight of history was the decisive factor: the Gay Games VII in Chicago are the natural continuation of more than 20 years of history of the gay and lesbian sports movement. The members know and appreciate the ideals of participation, inclusion and personal best enshrined in the international sports and cultural events known as the Gay Games.

Under these circumstances, the President of the French Federation, Bruno Ferré, put the priority on preparing and organising the French presence at the Chicago Gay Games, using the Federation’s action for the November 2002 Sydney Gay Games as a model. A call for tenders was launched to offer participants travelling from Paris to Chicago a flight and accommodation package by the end of December 2004. “We should enable as many French participants to travel to Chicago as attended any of the earlier Gay Games!” Bruno Ferré proudly announced, “A goal of 600 participants is perfectly realistic. Furthermore, as at every other Gay Games, French participants will be able to buy a national team outfit and insignia at very competitive prices thanks to the support of our commercial partners.”

Registration for the Gay Games started in June. The Gay Games will be held from 15 to 22 July 2006 in Chicago with a programme of 30 sports (martial arts, track and field, rowing, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, billiards, bowling, body building, cycling, dancing, soccer, golf, weightlifting, ice hockey, marathon, swimming, synchronised swimming, figure skating, diving, rugby, softball, triathlon, sailing, volleyball, etc.), as well as a cultural programme featuring bands and choirs. This worldwide sports event, which is the top-level gay and lesbian sports and cultural event, is open to all. The founding principles of the event are to encourage participation by all, with no discrimination based on age, physical fitness, health, sexual orientation or gender and to promote achieving one’s personal best.

The registration fee for the Gay Games includes a charge of $175 for general organisational expenses, plus further fees depending on the cultural and sports events selected. For most events, the total cost is $210, but it can be as high as $249 for figure skating, cycling, the marathon or half-marathon, rowing and bodybuilding, or $299 for sailing and golf.

A discount of 30% off the regular price of $175 is offered for registrations received before 31 December 2004. “With the euro at 1.25 US dollars, French participants should hurry up and register in 2004, since they will pay only 100 euros for the general registration fee before the sports-specific charges, said Christelle Lagattu, the organisation manager for the national Gay Games team.

Emy Ritt, who is the French Federation’s delegate to the FGG and a member of the sailing club Voile et Croisière en Liberté mentioned that the Gay Games sailing event is already fully booked. Fortunately, 28 members of her club were able to register, but one crew is already on the waiting list. “Don’t wait to register if you want to get a place in your sport”, she insists.