Lesbian Paralympic athlete backs London Gay Games bid

Sitting volleyball champion Claire Harvey, due to compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, supports UK capital's bid to host Gay Games

Lesbian Paralympic athlete backs London Gay Games bid
17 May 2012

A lesbian Paralympic athlete backs London’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2018.

London 2018, the organizing committee for the bid, is seeking support for all 26 sports featured in the international tournament, as well as patrons from the LGBT sports world.

Claire Harvey, a sitting volleyball athlete playing for the Great Britain team in the Paralympics in London this summer, has also been announced as a patron for the bid.

Jonathan Harbourne, co-chair of the bid, said it is a huge honor to have Harvey as a patron.

He said: ‘My aim is that London 2018 will be the most diverse and inclusive games ever – and that includes providing opportunities for people of all abilities.’

In a letter to the bid committee, Richard Callicot, president of Volleyball England, said they ‘fully support’ the bid and are the first National Governing Body (NGB) to do so.

He wrote: ‘Volleyball is a very inclusive sport and, with the indoor, beach and sitting disciplines there is so much choice.’

But Harbourne is now calling for more sporting organizations to get behind the bid.

He added: ‘Our bid will be judged on two things – facilities and support.

‘We are currently talking with the Olympic Park about the possibility of using their facilities and every letter of support from LGBT and straight sports clubs, businesses, institutions, NGBs and LGBT groups and societies strengthens our bid.’

Official bidding for the Gay Games, which was originally called the Gay Olympics and was started in San Francisco in 1982, opened on Tuesday (15 May).

Orlando in the US, the French capital Paris and Sao Paulo in Brazil are among the biggest cities competing for the chance to host the sporting contest which is held every four years.

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) will make a final decision in 2013.

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