Organisers of the first Outgames in Montr? hailed the sporting event a success after it wrapped up on Sunday with a performance by Liza Minnelli.
While it is not yet known how the games performed financially, Outgames co-president Mark Tewksbury told a press conference participation and attendance targets had been reached.
It was a gigantic effort, Tewksbury said. The feedback we’re receiving from our participants, which is really our first concern, has been overwhelmingly positive.
According to organisers, 18,599 people took part in the Outgames, 10,250 of those being athletes.
The other 8,300 were made up of delegates at the International Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Human Rights, held as part of the Outgames, plus those who took part in the cultural program and volunteers.
Participants at the conference unanimously endorsed The Declaration Of Montr? , a statement calling for the equal treatment of LGBT people that will be presented to officials at the United Nations and governments around the world.
It urges the world to accept that people have different sexual orientations and different gender identities, and that two women or two men can fall in love.
Speakers at the conference included tennis champion Martina Navratilova and UN high commissioner of human rights, Louise Arbour.
Meantime, an Australian winner’s tally from the Chicago Gay Games has begun to emerge.
While the medal count was not yet complete, a Team Sydney spokesperson said the group knew of 76 gold, 23 silver and 15 bronze Australian medals won at the Gay Games. Of those, 55 gold, 21 silver and 13 bronze were from Sydney.
Organisers of the Gay Games announced last week they expected the event to make a profit. The last two Gay Games, in Sydney in 2002 and Amsterdam in 1998, lost large amounts of money.
The 2006 Gay Games were originally going to be staged in Montr?, but when Montr?’s organisers disagreed with the Federation of Gay Games over the size of the event, the Games went to Chicago and Montr? created its own Outgames.