The opening ceremony of EuroGames 2021, the world’s biggest queer sporting event, launched on Wednesday evening with more than 2000 athletes from 49 nations in attendance. The opening marks a milestone that organisers along the way had their doubts about, given the uncertainty of the pandemic. 

“At times we thought that this would never happen. But to see the most significant rainbow event ever held in Scandinavia come together after six years of planning is amazing,” said Christian Bigom, Chairman of Pan Idræt, at the event.

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Athletes from all over the world will compete in various disciplines stretching from handball to ballroom dancing. Despite the sporting event going ahead with restrictions, WorldPride sent a greeting to all of those unable to attend due to the ongoing pandemic.

“We all know that the last year and a half has been super difficult. And even though it is getting better and the future brighter, it is not everyone who can be here to celebrate with us, so we want to send them our thoughts”, said Jakob Fauerby, the host of WorldPride, at the opening ceremony.

Pride & Inclusion On The Agenda

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Although the opening ceremony was filled with high energy, uplifting words, creative drag shows and festive music performances, speakers also addressed the more serious part of the sports happening.

“EuroGames is not just about the tournament. With this event, we show the world that everyone has the right to participate in sports. It is crucial that we pave the way for tolerance and inclusion in sport. We need to challenge the intolerance in sports and in society in general. I hope that EuroGames will move us one step closer to this goal”, said Lars Weiss, mayor of Copenhagen, Wednesday evening at the event.

Despite having to limit the number of participants due to restrictions and borders being somewhat closed, the organizers of EuroGames have high hopes for the influence that the queer sporting event will have on the future of sports.

“Tonight we celebrate but when the lights go down on EuroGames, the message will still burn on through the examples that you have all set. Diversity has to be the DNA we share all around the world at any club, any country, any city”, said Charlotte Bach Thomassen, President of DGI, on the stage in Fælledparken.

 

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