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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Paris hosts Gay Games

PHOTOS: Paris hosts Gay Games

August 04, 2018 21:06 IST

Over 12,700 participants from 91 countries are expected during the one-week contest, which features a variety of athletes - young and old, male and female, straight and gay.

IMAGE: Over 12,700 participants from 91 countries are expected during the 10th Gay Games in Paris. All Photographs: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Athletes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia will be among the thousands of people convening in Paris on Saturday for the opening ceremonies of the 10th Gay Games, which aim to raise awareness about gay and transgender rights.

 

Over 12,700 participants from 91 countries are expected during the one-week contest, which features a variety of athletes - young and old, male and female, straight and gay.

IMAGE: A participant holds rainbow flags at the international Rainbow Memorial Run during the inauguration of the Gay Games village.

Fifty-eight sportspeople are from Russia, which in 2013 passed a law banning "propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations," while one athlete holds a passport from Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Egypt and other Muslim countries where gays have been arrested and sent to jail will also be represented in one of the 36 sporting disciplines, spanning from soccer to swimming, volleyball and sailing.

IMAGE: A long rainbow flag is displayed on the facade of Hotel de ville city Hall.

France itself has been grappling with a recent surge in anti-gay acts as it eyes legalizing assisted reproduction for gay women in 2019 -- a campaign promise by centrist French President Emmanuel Macron.

According to French gay rights charity SOS Homophobie, the number of physical attacks due to homophobia jumped by 15 percent from 2016 to 2017.

IMAGE: A participant poses while attending the inauguration of the Gay Games village.

The country legalised same-sex marriage in 2013, after a bitter and divisive debate in which some former conservative members of Macron’s current left-and-right government opposed the legislation.

Gay Games organizers have said they expected the gains for the local economy to amount to 58 million euros ($67 million).

IMAGE: People react as they attend the inauguration of the Gay Games village at the Hotel de Ville city hall in Paris.

The event has received broad support from the French government, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and is sponsored by several large corporations including the country's largest bank BNP Paribas, carmaker Renault and General Electric.

The opening ceremony on Saturday night will take place in Jean Bouin stadium in western Paris, featuring circus and dancing shows, as well as Ada Vox, the first drag queen finalist in US singing competition series 'American Idol'.

IMAGE: People sign a flag as they participate at the international Rainbow Memorial Run during the inauguration of the Gay Games village.

Paris was selected in 2012 over seven cities including Amsterdam, London and Rio de Janeiro to host the games, held every four years since they debuted in 1982 in San Francisco.

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) selected Hong Kong for the 11th edition of the event last year, over 17 cities that included Tel Aviv, Cape Town and several large US cities.

Source:
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