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Sports Briefs: Hong Kong picked to host Gay Games XI

by Roger Brigham

The Federation of Gay Games voted this week to stage the 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong - marking the first time the event would be held in Asia.

A selection process that began last year with 17 contenders was whittled down early this year to three finalists - Hong Kong was matched against Guadalajara, Mexico; and Washington, D.C. - and ended with formal presentations, strategic discussions and a final vote during the FGG's annual assembly in Paris, site of next year's Gay Games. The vote Monday, October 30 was made using ranked-choice balloting.

The proposed dates for the Hong Kong event are November 12-19, 2022.

The Hong Kong bidding association, Out in Hong Kong, was formed in June 2015. It's bid was based on strong sponsorship and political support, tourism appeal, and its ability to serve as a way for the even's mission of participation, inclusion, and personal best to gain a foothold in Asia. The in-person bidder participation was presented in the manner of a fictional documentary set in the future after Hong Kong has won the bid and staged the event successfully, creating ripples of change throughout the continent.

Hong Kong has successful experience in hosting major mainstream running and dragon boat events. It also has held one large multi-sport festival, the 2009 South Asia Games, that drew 2,377 athletes - about a third of the size of the 2010 and 2014 Gay Games, and about a fifth the size of the Gay Games from 1994 to 2006.

The Paris Gay Games next year will mark the third time the event has been held in Europe. The other previous seven Gay Games were held in Australia once and North America six times. No other Asian city has ever bid for the Gay Games.

Competition and registration information for the August 4-12, 2018 Paris Gay Games is available at http://www.paris2018.com.

Astros first baseman suspended 5 games - next season
Major League Baseball announced it was suspending Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who made a racially insensitive gesture at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during a Friday World Series Game, for five games, but the punishment will not be served during postseason play.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said he considered many factors before deciding the suspension would not kick in until next season.

"I understand that people may have different views, but it was my best judgment that this timing was appropriate," Manfred said.

"I made an offensive gesture that was indefensible," Gurriel said in a written statement. "I sincerely apologize to everyone that I offended with my actions. I deeply regret it."

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