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EuroGames flag presented at the opening ceremony in Bern 2023.
Ballroom dancing competition, female latin senior category, EuroGames 2022 Nijmegen

The EuroGames are an LGBT+ multi-sport event in Europe, licensed by the EGLSF (European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation) to a local city host each year and organised (most often) by one or more of the federation's member clubs. Similar to the Gay Games, EuroGames are a sports-for-all event, open for participation irrespective of sex, age, sexual identity or physical ability. Additionally it often included less prominent non-olympic sports and disciplines catering to interest of LGBT+ communities like same-sex ballroom dance, line dance, cheerleading, aerobics, bodybuilding as well synchronised/artistic swimming with male participants, which was historically forbidden.

In terms of scale EuroGames range from 1,5 to cca 4 thousand (or exceptionally more) participants primarily from the West and South of Europe but also elsewhere (often Asian and American diasporic communities), most often with extra outreach support subsidies for less privileged participants.[1][2]

The EuroGames is most often a long weekend event with opening ceremonies, some of the sport, social and cultural activities (as side program) also happening on the days before.

History

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The official name of the EuroGames is the European Gay and Lesbian Multi-Sports Championships. It is a Dutch initiative inspired by GayGames, first organized in The Hague in 1992.[3]

The EuroGames are a multi-day sporting event. They are organized annually in a European city, except in years when the global Gay Games take place. Since the advent of the World Outgames in 2006, this has been taken into account in determining whether or not a city is assigned to a particular year. In a year in which Gay Games and/or World Outgames take place, EuroGames generally do not take place.

Like the Gay Games as well as the World Outgames, the EuroGames are open to everyone regardless of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. When a competitive sport has not yet reached the maximum number of participants, participants from non-European countries are also admitted.

Since 2001, the EuroGames have existed in two versions: the big EuroGames and the small EuroGames. It was planned that these small Games would have a maximum of 1,500 participants and seven sports and would last two days. The "small" EuroGames Utrecht 2005 were an exception to this. Almost 3,000 participants, nine competition sports and three competition days made Utrecht, as the smallest organizing city until then, have the largest 'small' Games compared to Hannover and Copenhagen in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

EuroGames 2023 in Bern, Switzerland

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LGBT flags in Bern center during EuroGames and Pride
Jasmine Imbogen, co-president of EuroGames 2023

The 2023 EuroGames took place in Bern from 26 to 29 July 2023. 20 sporting disciplines and over 2,000 athletes of various sexual orientations and gender identities participated in the event.[4] The sporting event included new demonstration sports like Quidditch and local recreation like hiking.[5] Classic disciplines included tennis and bowling, but other disciplines such as street workout, the Hyrox challenge, quidditch and many other activities were scheduled.[6]

Co-presidents of EGLSF Sarah Townsend and Hugh Torrance with the mayor of Bern, Alec von Graffenried brandishing the towns EuroGames 2023 trophee at the opening ceremony.

The centre of the old town was decorated with 250 LGBT flags. for the occasion The city of Bern has had to deactivate its Twitter comment function following homophobic comments, notably from the Swiss Young SVP party. The youth branch of the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland has indicated that they are considering filing a complaint.[3]

EuroGames 2023 guests impacted Bern to have big Village and night program (Q.U.M. stage)
EuroGames Village, night Pride program (Q.U.M. stage)
EuroGames 2023 Bern medals
EuroGames 2023 medals

Jasmine Imboden and Greg Zwygart co-president the 2023 EuroGames association.[7] According to Greg Zwygart, the EuroGames is an inclusive sport event, also for heterosexual athletes. The event includes trans and intersex people even though these categories of people are not present in some sport disciplines.[7]

EuroGames 2023 hosting impacted Bern Pride to have exceptionally big Village and elaborate multi-day and multi-vanue program mostly with local talent and few guests.[8]

EuroGames 2023 Bern - inclusive signs

Chronology

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EuroGames Lyon in 2025

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On Twitter, Julie Nublat-Faure [fr], deputy mayor in charge of sports, announced that the 2025 EuroGames would be held in Lyon from 23 to 26 July. This is the first time the city has hosted a European sports competition dedicated to the LGBT+ community[9] This 22nd edition[9] plans to bring together some 4,000 athletes from over 40 countries in Europe and around the world,[9] who will compete along the banks of the Saône and Rhône rivers in over thirty sporting disciplines, including tennis, football, rugby, synchronised swimming, pétanque, sailing, dance and choral singing. Participation in this sporting competition is made possible thanks to the support of fifteen clubs affiliated to the OS.L[10]

The LGBT+ Sports Federation also pointed out that this event offers the opportunity "to exchange ideas and raise awareness among participants and spectators around themes such as LBGT+ handisport, the fight against serophobia, and notions of gender and sexual orientation".[10]

Table of EuroGames edition

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Edition Year Location Country Participants Countries Sports Note Other bidders
1 1992 The Hague  Netherlands 300 5 4
2 1993 The Hague  Netherlands 540 8 6
3 1995 Frankfurt  Germany 2,000 13
4 1996 Berlin  Germany 3,247 18 17
5 1997 Paris  France 2,000 18 17 Brussels, Zürich
1999 Manchester  United Kingdom 0 0 0 Cancelled Cologne
6 2000 Zürich   Switzerland 4,500 19 Hamburg
7 2001 Hanover  Germany 1,500 7 Small EuroGames
8 2003 Copenhagen  Denmark 2,200 7 Small EuroGames
9 2004 Munich  Germany 5,050 38 27 Vienna
10 2005 Utrecht  Netherlands 2,855 44 9 Small EuroGames
11 2007 Antwerp  Belgium 3,650 38 11+1 Small EuroGames
12 2008 Barcelona  Spain >5,000 40 25
13 2011 Rotterdam  Netherlands >3,000 26
14 2012 Budapest  Hungary
15 2015 Stockholm  Sweden 4,465 71 28 Big EuroGames
16 2016 Helsinki  Finland 1,400 40 14 EuroGames
17 2019 Rome  Italy
2020 Düsseldorf  Germany Cancelled
18 2021 Copenhagen/Malmö  Denmark/ Sweden 2,000 22
19 2022 Nijmegen  Netherlands >2,000 17
20 2023 Bern   Switzerland >2,000 75 20
21 2024 Vienna  Austria
22 2025 Lyon  France
23 2027 Cardiff  United Kingdom Munich[11]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Montenegrin delegation for the first time on LGBT EuroGames - BudapestCrna Gora po prvi put na LGBT EuroGame-su u Budimpešti - LGBT Forum Progres". web.archive.org. 2022-04-19. Retrieved 2024-07-18.
  2. ^ "Outreach - Eurogames 2022". web.archive.org. 2022-07-22. Retrieved 2024-07-18.
  3. ^ a b "EuroGames à Berne: polémique à cause des drapeaux LGBT". 20 minutes (in French). 2023-07-27. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  4. ^ "Eurogames: LGBTQ-Olympia startet in Bern". 20 Minuten (in German). 2023-07-26. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  5. ^ "Timed Hiking - EuroGames 2023 Bern". 2022-07-07. Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  6. ^ "Sports - EuroGames 2023 Bern". 2020-10-26. Retrieved 2023-07-29.
  7. ^ a b "EuroGames in Bern: Über 2.000 Sportler*innen erwartet – auch aus Russland". queer.de (in German). Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  8. ^ "BernPride - Programm". www.bernpride.ch. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  9. ^ a b c REdaction, La (2022-04-15). "EuroGames : l'événement sportif LGBT+ s'installe à Lyon en 2025". Vivre Lyon (in French). Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  10. ^ a b Vallet, Romain (2022-08-04). "EuroGames 2025 : il va y avoir du sport !". Hétéroclite (in French). Retrieved 2023-07-28.
  11. ^ "EGSLF elects Cardiff, UK, as EuroGames 2027 host City". EGSLF. 2024-03-14. Retrieved 2024-06-07.
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