Taiwan’s athletes taking part in the Gay Games opening ceremony in Paris today (4 August) waved their own flag, despite controversies with China.
Moreover, there were also a few Taiwanese flags waved by those in the bleachers to express solidarity with the team, also known as Gay Taipei.
Lots of Taiwan flags in solidarity! Go Team Taiwan (aka Gay Taipei) #gaygames
The Gay Games
This year marks the tenth edition of the Gay Games, returned after a four-year hiatus. Kicked off with the much-anticipated ceremony at the Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris, the Gay Games welcome athletes from all over the world.
LGBTI and straight participants gathered in the French capital to showcase their ability and compete in several disciplines.
An unsolved tension with China
Sadly, the Gay Games were also an occasion for tensions with China to resurface.
China, in fact, does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty and tried to prevent the delegation from waving their own flag.
However, Taiwanese athletes proudly waved their own flag. The Taiwanese flag sports a white sun on a red and blue background.
Late last month it was reported that China was pressuring the hosts and the organizers of the games to block athletes from flying the Taiwanese national flag, causing an outcry from Taiwan’s LGBTI community and sports fans.
France doesn’t recognize Taiwan
The official website for the Gay Games also changed the name of the nation from Taiwan ROC (Republic of China) to Taiwan. Finally, they changed it to Taipei (the capital of the island).
However, the organizers denied the decision is due to pressures from China.
‘Paris 2018 denied have received any pressure from China concerning the team of Taiwan,’ one of the organizers said.
‘The full name of the team is listed on our website under the sign of Taipei.’
They went on explaining the change of name.
‘The parade of athletes is organized according to the French Protocol and Paris 2018 decided to give a sign of Taipei as Taiwan is not a recognized country in France,’ they also said.
Furthermore, they added: ‘Paris 2018 doesn’t provide flags to teams. Most of the time teams prefer rainbow flags at Gay Games.’
All the teams, however, are welcome to bring their own flag.