In the Gay Games, location matters

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If London were scheduled to host the Gay Games in 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he would praise the decision, as it would help change the perception of the LGBT community and sports.

“Oh I think it can make a huge difference absolutely. I suspect that if we get the Games here in 2018 – [and]I very much hope the inspectors who I have met myself this morning do find in our favor when they make their decision this autumn – I think if we do get the Games here, I think you’ll find many, many more people will come and just join in with the event and come and look at the events, and become spectators [far more so]than we anticipate right now,” Clegg said in an interview with PinkNews.

The Federation of Gay Games is currently reviewing London, England as well as Paris, France and Limerick, Ireland for potential locations. A representative from the Federation is inspecting the grounds in London, including the Queen Elizabeth Park in Stratford.

“It has definitely got to be more than just the Olympics not least because we are using a lot more local community facilities [compared to the 2012 Games]so we need to show that those are fit for purpose along with the Olympic Park, and we also need to show that we have an engaged community [who want to host]the Games,” said chairman Alex Davis.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, Prime Minister David Cameron, and Sports Minister Hugh Robertson are all bidding as high profile bankers. Clegg is also included on the list.

Gay Games’ Site Selection Committee co-chair David Killian views the Gay Games as more opportunistic than the Olympics to scout smaller cities to host the event. Nonetheless, he was looking forward to inspecting London, as the city was a “big supporter” of the Gay Games.

“There’s a lot of cities that have looked to raise their profile on the international stage by hosting the Gay Games – an example is Cleveland [because]they are hosting the Games in 2014,” Killian said in an interview with PinkNews. “It’s not a competition that is dominated by larger cities it’s all about whether you can put together a good bid.”

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