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First ever Chinese delegation to attend 2018 Paris Gay Games

First ever Chinese delegation to attend 2018 Paris Gay Games

The closing ceremony of the 2010 Gay Games in Germany

The first ever group of Chinese athletes will likely be attending the Paris Gay Games in 2019.

The Gay Games organizers posted on their Facebook page that they are hoping to see the first group of about 20 athletes attending the games – although the number could rise between now and then.

The Games are the largest LGBTI sporting event in the world. It prizes inclusivity above sporting ability, and anyone can attend regardless of skill, if they pay a fee.

A physician and former American Olympian Tom Wadell originally founded them in 1982.

One Chinese man participated in the previous games, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio. He won silver in swimming.

Using Chinese social media one man, Qiu Hua, said he has been trying to convince more people from China to get involved. LGBTI people in China are unlikely to be open about their identities – only 5% say they are ‘out’ at school or work – and the government is not supportive of LGBTI rights movements.

‘People in China don’t know about the games, and this is the first time there has been a direct link between the games and China,’ Qiu told Sixth Tone. He said finding LGBTI sporting groups has been difficult.

Qiu is aiming to get 100 people to attend from China by the time the games begin in 2018.

Hong Kong has launched a bid for the Gay Games for 2022, which would bring the event to Asia for the first time. Qiu said: ‘It would be beneficial for Asia.’