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Archery, fencing, boxing and more added to Gay Games

Federation of Gay Games approves new sports for 2018 but polo horses can stay at home
En garde: Fencing may be included in the 2018 Gay Games.
Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

Archers, fencers and wheelchair rugby players are hoping to take part in the Gay Games in 2018 after the event’s governing body approved their sports.

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has also agreed to a boxing tournament, pétanque and roller derby but turned their nose up at a request to include polo.

So while boxing is considered a knock-out idea, archery hit the target and they decided wheelchair rugby was wheely good, anyone hoping to see Prince Harry astride a stallion at a Gay Games anytime soon will definitely be disappointed.

Rodeo was already added for the next Gay Games and the cowboys will be seen in Cleveland and Akron for the first time in 2014.

Five cities are currently bidding for the 2018 event – Amsterdam, Limerick, London, Orlando and Paris – and they had a chance to request adding more sports as part of that process.

However it’s still not clear exactly which sports will be on offer at the 10th Gay Games as that will depend which potential host city ends up winning the bid.

FGG sports officer Sébastien Datiche explained the federation considered issues like accessibility for disabled participants, gender balance, diversification of skill areas and body types, and general operational and financial viability when deciding which sports to include.

Datiche said: ‘Discussion on these matters was lively, and we are pleased the FGG Sports Committee was able to process these requests so quickly. Of course, even if we approve a sport, the bidding organization requesting it may or may not include it in their bid. In any case, we are very pleased to see these requests which show the growing diversity of sports in which LGBT people are involved.’

FGG sports officer Martha Ehrenfeld added: ‘Bidders can opt out of a certain number of core sports, and replace them, if they choose, with others from our list of additional sports, or, as we see here, request permission to include totally new sports.

‘The only firm limit is the total number of sports, set at 36, which we think is already a lot to manage so as to ensure the best possible competitive experience for participants in the Gay Games.’

Here are the FGG approved sports:

List A: Core sports

  • Aquatics – Diving
  • Aquatics – Open Water Swimming
  • Aquatics – Swimming
  • Aquatics – Synchronized Swimming
  • Aquatics – Water Polo
  • Athletics – 5K and 10K Road Races
  • Athletics – Marathon and Half Marathon
  • Athletics – Track and Field 23 Softball
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bodybuilding
  • Bowling
  • Cycling – Mountain Bike
  • Cycling – Road Races
  • DanceSport
  • Figure Skating
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Martial Arts
  • Powerlifting
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer (Football)
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

List B: Additional sports

  • Aerobics
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Bridge
  • Chess
  • Darts
  • Field Hockey
  • Flag Football
  • Handball (ie Team Handball)
  • In-line Speed Skating
  • Judo
  • Netball
  • Pool (Billiard)
  • Rodeo
  • Rugby (Touch)
  • Rugby 15s (Union) (planned to expand to include Rugby 7s)
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Sport Climbing
  • Sport Shooting

List C: Approved new sports

  • Archery
  • Boxing
  • Fencing
  • Pétanque
  • Roller Derby
  • Wheelchair Rugby
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Archery hit the target and they decided wheelchair rugby was wheely good, anyone hoping to see Prince Harry astride a stallion at a Gay Games anytime soon will definitely be disappointed. Frank