Friday, July 12, 2024

Squash to star in 2018 Gay Games in Paris

The Gay Games 2018 takes place in Paris

More than 100 entries for squash event at Charlety Stadium
By ALEXIA CLONDA – Squash Mad Special Correspondent

The 10th Gay Games will be held from August 4-12 in Paris, France, with 10,300 participants, 36 sports and 14 cultural events being held.

Squash has been a sport of the Games since being introduced at the 1990 Canada Gay Games in Vancouver.

The Gay Games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that promotes sexual diversity, featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) athletes and artists.

Founded as the Gay Olympics, it was started in the United States in San Francisco, California, in 1982, as the brainchild of Olympic decathlete (Mexico City 1968) and medical doctor Tom Waddell, Rikki Streicher and others whose goals were to promote the spirit of inclusion and participation, as well as to promote the pursuit of personal growth in a sporting event.

Subsequent Gay Games were held in San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), Cleveland+Akron (2014), with Paris this year and Hong Kong to follow in 2022.

Paris’s squash event will be held at the at the Charlety Stadium run by Les Petites Frappes with the support of the French Squash Federation and played from August 6-10. Over 100 entries have been received.

The playing categories are:
A – International (Professional)
B – Expert player
C – Confirmed player
D – Recreational with tournament experience
E – Recreational without tournament experience

I was fortunate to be the squash tournament director at the 2002 Gay Games. We had over 200 participants from 15-plus countries. It was my first experience of being part of a bigger Games event, with well over 10,000 athletes. It blew me away and it was great getting a silver medal, going down 9-10 in the fifth!

Squash’s presence at yet another major sporting and cultural event, not only reflects squash’s popularity as a global sport, but also its diversity to break down and cross boundaries.

Another tick for squash’s inclusion into the Olympic Games. Hopefully with a return to Paris in 2024.


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