Nearly 1,000 people have pre-registered for the 2022 Gay Games, despite an ongoing pandemic and even as the event is still close to 18 months away. Among these, about 130 are from Hong Kong, where the games will be held, and about 10 are from Singapore. The rest are sign-ups from around the world, mostly in Asia.
This is the first time the Gay Games, which was founded in the United States in 1982, will be held in Asia. As this is also the event’s 40th anniversary, organisers of Gay Games Hong Kong (GGHK) say they are expecting 12,000 participants, 75,000 spectators and more than 3,000 volunteers from 100 countries.
From November 11 – 19, participants will compete in 36 sporting events, ranging from dragonboat racing, dodgeball, e-sports, and trail running. But the games are not just about sports – it’s also an arts and culture event, complete with visual arts presentations, exhibitions and various cultural activities.
Organisers told Asia.gay that the most popular sports currently are swimming, tennis, 5k/10k runs and the marathon. Many have also registered for the event’s choral and dance performances.
But with the pandemic still ever-present in many parts of the world, will the event go on as planned?
All eyes are now on the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to open next month. With the city still in a state of emergency until June 20, there has been growing criticism that pushing ahead with the Olympics could trigger another virus outbreak.
Responding to concerns over the pandemic earlier this year, organisers of GGHK released a statement in March saying that their survey showed “a growing number of people willing to travel to Hong Kong to participate at GGHK”.
“The last 12 months have been challenging for everyone, but we are seeing positive momentum with the global roll-out of the vaccine programs. Volunteers from across the world are also continuing to join GGHK on a weekly basis.”
All sports, arts and culture events have a limited capacity, and are based on a “first come first serve basis”. Pre-registering costs HK50 (US$6.44) and gives you a discount of HKD200 (US$25) off the participation fee. To pre-register for GGHK, click on https://gghk2022.com/en/registration/.