Organisers of the Chicago Gay Games are expecting the event to make a profit for the first time in more than a decade.

In the same week rival event Outgames kicked off in Montr?, Chicago Gay Games organisers said they expected to announce a surplus when financial figures were released in the next few weeks.

We project a surplus, whether modest or not, when we finally close the books on Gay Games VII, co-vice-chair Kevin Boyer told Sydney Star Observer by email last week.

A projected financial result was not available.

We have not yet released financial figures and probably won’t be able to do so for another two or so weeks as bills continue to come in and various revenue streams are still bringing in income, Boyer said.

The last four Gay Games -“ including the Sydney event in 2002 -“ have lost money.

Meantime, political differences took some of the shine off the Outgames opening ceremony at Montr?’s Olympic Stadium last Saturday.

An estimated crowd of 40,000 loudly jeered Conservative Canadian minister Michael Fortier at the ceremony, forcing Montr? mayor G?ld Tremblay to ask the crowd to listen with respect, the Canadian Press news agency reported.

Canada’s Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper -“ who has threatened to roll back gay marriage laws -“ declined to appear at the ceremony, earning a rebuke from compatriot k.d. lang.

Sports stars Martina Navratilova and Mark Tewksbury, the Outgames co-president, used the opening ceremony to unveil a human rights declaration prepared at an Outgames conference last week.

The so-called Montr? Declaration calls for the promotion of gay and lesbian rights around the world.

Performers including k.d. lang, Deborah Cox and the Cirque du Soleil troupe entertained the opening ceremony crowd, as Canadian chanteuse C?ne Dion, appearing by video, called the Outgames an unforgettable moment in the fight for tolerance.

About 12,000 athletes are taking part in the Outgames, which run until 5 August.

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