Valencia to host Gay Games 2026

Valencia has been chosen to host the Gay Games XII in 2026, beating rivals Munich (Germany) and Guadalajara (Mexico).

The Federation of Gay Games inspection team visited Valencia in August and the final decision was announced on Thursday at a ceremony held in Brighton.

Valencia’s mayor, Joan Ribó said it was “fantastic news for the city, because it puts us in a privileged position on two levels; in that of tolerance and respect, and in that of sport.”

According to calculations made by the city’s councillor for Sport, Pilar Bernabé, hosting the games will have a significant financial impact on the city, and could bring in more than 130 million Euros, thanks to an estimated 15,000 sportsmen and women as well as an expected 100,000 visitors who will come to Valencia.

There will be 36 sports and numerous Arts and Culture events over 9 days. There will be local Valencian sports such as colpbol and pilota valenciana, as well as other sports like basketball, football and tennis.

A Tweet showing Valencia’s Opera house illuminated with the rainbow flag colours

Co-President of the FGG, Joanie Evans said: “Congratulations Valencia! We are so excited to be heading there in 2026………We feel that Valencia will bring a rich dimension to the Games and, this being the first time a Games will be held in Spain, it will have a positive impact on the city.”

The Gay Games is the largest LGTBQ+ sporting event in the world and is based on core principles of “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best“.

The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, as a way to empower thousands of LGTBQ+ athletes and artists through sport, culture, and fellowship and was first held in San Francisco in 1982. The games have since been held in cities around the world, including Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto and Sydney.

Gay Games 11 will be held in Hong Kong in November 2023, after being postponed from 2022 and from there the ceremonial flag will be passed on to Valencia.

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