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Sports Brief: Gay Games visit and update

by Roger Brigham

Manuel Picaud, co-president of the Paris Gay Games, made a promotional stop in San Francisco last week to raise awareness of next year's event - and teach the locals about petanque, a French game played with shiny silver balls that will make its first appearance in the 2018 Gay Games.

Picaud's activities in San Francisco included an invitation-only reception at the French embassy with local LGBT sports leaders and staffing a Gay Games booth at an LGBT nonprofit expo at Eureka Valley Recreation Center hosted by OurTown SF. His previous stops in California included Palm Springs and Los Angeles.

Whereas May's World Outgames were abruptly canceled and the current Sin City Shootout is embroiled in a legal battle, preparations for the 35-year-old Gay Games seem to be going smoothly.

Picaud said registration benchmarks for the event, scheduled for August 4-14, were being met.

"It is almost 4,500," Picaud said when asked how many participants have already registered for the Gay Games. "Previous editions were at 3,000 on 300 days before the event."

Paris organizers have secured a sponsorship agreement with Air France that enables cheaper airfares for registrants. They also have strong backing from all levels of government and have members with sports event planning backgrounds from years of staging an annual multipart event in Paris. Picaud alone brings a wealth of LGBT sports organization to the event, having served previously as treasurer for the Federation of Gay Games and having been involved in the organization of the successful 1997 EuroGames in Paris.

The FGG will hold its 2017 membership meeting October 26-November 1 in Paris. Presentations from the three finalists bidding to host the 2022 Gay Games - Hong Kong; Washington, D.C.; and Guadalajara, Mexico - will be made at the meeting and the presumptive host selected October 30.

The FGG itself has struggled to keep its http://www.gaygames.org website up and running (always a bit of an issue with volunteer organizations) but it appears to be largely back up. Deadline of note: scholarship applications for 2018 must be submitted by the end of October. Applications are available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GG10-Scholarship-Application.

For information and registration forms for Paris Gay Games X, visit http://www.paris2018.com .

Contact the author at jocktalkroger@yahoo.com .

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