Brisbane falls out of the running to host Gay Games in 2026

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Photo: Brisbane Gay Games 2026/Facebook

Brisbane has sadly failed to make the final three-city shortlist to host the Gay Games in 2026.

Every four years since 1982, the Gay Games has provided an inclusive and safe environment for LGBTIQ athletes to compete in dozens of sports.

Each Games now attracts over 10,000 athletes and tens of thousands of spectators from around the world.

Last August, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced Brisbane was shortlisted alongside eight other cities vying to host the event in 2026.

However at the weekend, the FGG announced the top three finalists are Guadalajara, Mexico; Munich, Germany; and Valencia, Spain.

Sadly out of the running are Brisbane; Auckland, New Zealand; San Diego in the USA; Taipei in Taiwan and Toronto in Canada.

Jason Davis, the chair of the Brisbane bid committee told the decision was disappointing. However he added the committee still has exciting plans in the pipeline.

Davis said he and the committee thanked everyone who had supported them in the process.

“The good news is we’ve got some things planned for the future, it’s not over and done with,” he said.

“We had discussed as a plan B, a relaunch for a 2030 bid. That’s still likely on the cards.

“We were also looking at establishing a legacy event as a regional Asia Pacific version of the Games, similar to the EuroGames.

“We were talking about that for some time, whether we won the 2026 bid or not.

“We’re going to keep the momentum going and hopefully that will get us over the line next time.”

The Federation of Gay Games now tentatively plans to visit the three cities in June and July this year, COVID-19 travel restrictions permitting.

“FGG wishes to thank all eight bid cities who truly put forth wonderful bids that illuminated the Federation’s principles,” site selection officer David Killian said.

“We look forward to continuing the process with these three finalists.”

The FGG will announce the winner at the next Gay Games in Hong Kong in 2022.

Next Gay Games is in Hong Kong in 2022

At the last Gay Games in Paris in 2018, a contingent of Australian athletes travelled to compete, many for the first time.

Athletes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia – countries where LGBTIQ people face persecution – also competed that year.

Sydney last hosted the event on our shores in 2002. The next Gay Games are scheduled for November 2022 in Hong Kong.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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