A contingent of Aussie athletes was among the 10,000 sportspeople converging on Paris last weekend for the opening ceremony of this year’s Gay Games.
Among the Brisbane sportspeople attending this year’s Games are players and coaches from the inclusive water polo team the Brisbane Tritons, attending the competition for the first time.
Tritons President Sean Langeveld told QNews Magazine the team had notched up several wins this week and progressed all the way to the Top 8 elimination round.
“The boys played an amazing game and fought hard right up to the final buzzer in our match against Montreal, and we went down with our heads held high, 4-15,” he said.
“To end on four wins from our seven games has been awesome. All of the players and coaches have had an amazing time and the end result was beyond our wildest expectations.
“The Gay Games organisers have done a fantastic job.”
Also among the Australians competing are four swimmers from Brisbane inclusive swim team Aqualicious, as well as the Tritons’ interstate rivals from the Sydney Stingers and Perth White Pointers teams.
“We’re competing over five days in three mixed-gender teams, in recreational and competitive divisions against teams from all over the world,” the Stingers wrote on Instagram earlier this week.
“It’s amazing seeing so many athletes here together under the one giant rainbow flag.”
Athletes brave LGBTIQ persecution
It’s the tenth edition of the Gay Games, which has been held every four years since 1982, and organisers say over 10,300 participants from 91 countries are taking part in 36 sports, everything from water polo to soccer, swimming to volleyball.
Athletes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Russia – countries where the LGBTIQ community have faced persecution – are among the athletes competing this year, Reuters reported.
Fifty-eight athletes from Russia are taking part, while one athlete holds a passport from Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.
The Gay Games will run until August 12.
“We’re finally here. Paris Gay Games 2018, get ready to feel our sting. It’s amazing seeing so many athletes here together under the one giant rainbow flag.” — Reposted from @vahtooch. . #thworp #wemadeit #gay #instagay #gaysports #stadium #finally #SydneyStingers #StingersOnTour #StingersWomen #StingersDoEurope #GayGames @sydneystingers @sydneystingers_women
Still smiling after Day 3 of Comp. The boys put up a solid fight although unfortunately loss 0-4 to Brussels. Time for some much needed rest ahead of tomorrow’s game against Manchester 🇫🇷🤽🏼♂️🏳️🌈 @paris2018 . . . #paris2018 #gaygames #paris #perthwhitepointers #waterpolo #wapo #phantomswaterpolo #lgbtsports #prideinsport #gaysports #gayperth #perthlife #perthsports