European Gay Games in Barcelona

by Rajashri on Jul 25 2008 3:29 PM

Organizers have revealed that more than 5,000 athletes, gay and straight, from across Europe are converging on Barcelona for the Eurogames which start Thursday.

More than 30,000 tourists are expected to attend the Olympics-style games which could pump 30 million euros (47.6 million US dollars) into the local economy, according to Barcelona gay sports group Panteras Grogues (Yellow Panthers) which is organising the event.

The four-day event will kick off with a colourful opening ceremony on Thursday at the Palau Sant Jordi indoor sporting arena, one of the main venues of the 1992 Summer Olympics which has a seating capacity for 17,000 people.

The athletes will compete in 28 different sports including tennis, swimming, track and field, basketball but also same-sex versions of ballroom dancing in venues across Barcelona.

Conferences and cultural events will be held at the same time as the sports events.

The Eurogames are open to everyone, irrespective of sex, age, sexual identity or physical abilities.

They are hosted by license of the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation and organised by one or more of the federation's member clubs.

The first Eurogames were held in the Hague in the Netherlands in 1992. The event was held last year in Antwerp, Belgium.