Paris has been named as the host city for the 2018 Gay Games, beating bids from fellow European bid finalists, London and Limerick.
The announcement was made earlier this week in Cleveland, Ohio, where the Gay Games will be taking place next year. Limerick’s bid had made it to the list of finalists, beating bids from other cities such as Orlando and Amsterdam.
David Killian, co-chair of the Site Selection Committee at the Federation of Gay Games, explained why Paris came to win the bid to host the 2018 Games:
“Paris proposed a wide range of sports in quality venues, many of which offer good visibility for the event. French LGBT sport organizations already have a great deal of experience hosting international multisport tournaments, and their LGBT community presents outstanding cultural events. […] And of course Paris is a great destination to visit or revisit.”
The campaign to bring the Gay Games to Limerick received nationwide support, with the Taoiseach writing a letter in support of the bid. Had it come to Ireland, the Gay Games would have provided an estimated boost of €50 million to the Limerick and Greater Shannon region.
The organisers of the Limerick updated their Facebook page in light of the announcement, wishing Paris luck with the upcoming event and thanking their supporters in Ireland and abroad:
“To the people of Limerick and further afield…. Thank You! Your support has been amazing and has kept us going for the last few days!! Limerick Abu!! [sic]“
“The quality of bids for 2018 was superb,” said Kurt Dahl, co-president of the Federation of Gay Games. “We thank the teams from Limerick and London for taking part in the Gay Games X bidding process. Their communities should be proud of the detailed plans and enormous heart they showed in their proposals. It’s a real demonstration how deeply important the Gay Games has become over the years that so many talented people from around the world want to carry on its legacy.”