Hong Kong is to host the 2022 Gay Games after it successfully fought off bids from cities in the US and Mexico.

Photo: Gay Games.

The Federation of Gay Games [FGG] revealed the winner at a press conference in Paris on Monday. It will be the first time the sports and cultural event will been held in Asia.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong bid said hosting the 11th games would be “a major step for the LGBT+ Community in the region, estimated at 221 million people, and the wider community in fostering acceptance and inclusion.”

The event – held every four years – was founded in San Francisco in 1982 and welcomes anyone to participate regardless of sexuality, ability and gender. Hong Kong was up against Washington DC and Guadalajara in Mexico.

Photo: Gay Games.

Bid Chair Dennis Philipse hailed Hong Kong’s success: “This is testament to Hong Kong’s spirit and passion for increased inclusion and diversity; bringing the Gay Games to Asia and Hong Kong as host proves the growth in openness in the city and across the region… This wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support from our team and partners, and of course the competing teams from Washington DC and Guadalajara for their strong bids, encouraging us to work harder to win it for Asia.”

Photo: Gay Games.

After it was chosen as host, a post on the Hong Kong Gay Games Facebook page said: “The FGG clearly saw the same vision as the Hong Team that this was the right time to bring the games to Asia and Asia to the games.”

“We fought tirelessly and are elated to bring the games to Asia for the first time! Thank you all for your love and support. Bring the Gay Games to Hong Kong!”

Bid organiser Doug White told HKFP that he was “elated” with the win: “Our support on social Media has been overwhelming and with the announcement of the win, the outpouring of love and support is beyond imagination. This is a great thing for everyone.”

Photo: Gay Games.

Over 120 organisations supported the Hong Kong bid. The economic impact for the city is estimated to be HK$1 billion according to bid organisers.

The 2014 event was hosted in Cleveland, Ohio and involved over 10,000 people from 60 countries across 37 sports. The 2018 games will be held in Paris.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.