The world’s LGBTQ communities will come together this August in beautiful Paris, for the 10th iteration of the Gay Games. Already, Paris has 5,000 athletes registered—a higher amount than previous hosts have reported this early in the process. Athletics and aquatics are the most popular sports, and golf is already sold out.
Organizers say they have more than 800 volunteers and a large number of organizational partners helping with Gay Games 10. They are confident in attracting more participants than previous hosts. The maximum capacity is 15,000 participants, and Paris officials say they expect 40,000 visitors—and some 300,000 spectators.
We spoke with Manuel Picaud, the co-président of Paris 2018, to get the scoop on the event.
TP: How will the Paris Gay Games differ from past iterations of the Games?
MP: Paris 2018 will host the first Gay Games in a French-speaking country—the same country where the Olympics were born. France is very passionate about sports. It will also be the site of the Olympics in 2024, the Rugby World Cup in 2023, the Golf Ryder Cup in 2018 and the Women’s World Championship of Soccer or Handball in 2019.
Gay Games in Paris will also be for the first time in a real capital city, in a city of culture and of art de vivre. Paris 2018–Gay Games 10 is also organized by a federation of organizations that has never been seen before. That means organizers have huge experience with organizing large sporting and cultural events like the International Tournament of Paris for 15 years.
And many national sports federations are committed to the success of the Gay Games. Finally, never has a city had such institutional support even from the President of the Republic (high patronage), the national and regional governments and, of course, the City of Paris.