Hong Kong took home a gold and a silver medal at the Paris 2018 Gay Games last week.

The city’s Sebastian Turner from LGBTQ+ sports club OutSwimmers HK brought home the silver for the 800-metre freestyle swim on Wednesday, while the mixed volleyball team struck gold in its win against Thailand on Saturday.

Hong Kong Mixed Volleyball team. Photo: Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 via Facebook.

A spokesperson from Gay Games Hong Kong 2022 described Turner’s silver medal win: “He jumped right in and immediately set a fast tone for the event. He turned and outpaced most of the pool and finished as some other participants were starting their final lap. Seb came away with a well deserved Silver medal!”

YouTube video

The games are held every four years and aim to promote sexual inclusivity in sports, with teams including straight, gay and queer athletes. This year’s event was held in the French capital and saw over 10,000 participants competing in 36 events, ranging from swimming and fencing, to unconventional activities like “french kiss”-themed synchronised swimming and queer urban dance.

See also: Taiwan national flag flies at Paris Gay Games opening despite pressure from China

However, the games were also marked by controversy, as Taiwanese LGBTQ+ activists accused China of pressuring event organisers into barring their national flag.

Hong Kong won the bid to host the next Gay Games in 2022 – beating Guadalajara in Mexico and Washington DC in the United States – making it the first city in Asia to host the games since they began in 1982.

YouTube video

Gay Games Hong Kong 2022 has received support from over 120 organisations including the Equal Opportunities Commission, and organisers have said that they hope it will generate HK$1 billion in tourism for the city.

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.