Stockholm will host the LGBT sporting event EuroGames in 2015, the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) announced Tuesday. The event, expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors to the city, is one of the largest LGBT events held in the world.
With 5,000 participants, the EuroGames will be held the week of August 5, 2015, and is open to anyone wishing to participate, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. In addition to the sporting competition, the 2015 event will feature exhibitions, activities, and attractions including a film festival. There will also be a political program run congruently with the games featuring a conference with seminars, workshops, and lectures.
EuroGames was originally founded in 1992 by EGLSF to encourage integration, and fight discrimination within sports. Today, the competition is held about three times per decade, having formerly been hosted in Barcelona, Paris, London, and Antwerp. The initiative to host the 2015 competition is part of the City of Stockholm’s strategy to market Stockholm to LGBT people internationally.
"Stockholm is known worldwide as an open, welcoming destination. The EuroGames Stockholm event is completely consistent with Stockholm’s aim to be one of Europe’s leading event cities. We are happy and proud to be able to support EuroGames Stockholm, says Regina Kevius, Stockholm’s Sports Commissioner.
Jakob Jansson, Chairperson of EuroGames Stockholm, also spoke about the importance of the competition in light of the frightening LGBT civil rights developments currently taking place in Russia and other parts of the world. "Nationally," he said, "we have the chance to open up to questions about queer and transgender athletics and to fight the tragic statistics showing that a major portion of LGBTQ youth quit playing organized sports.”