VALENCIA city this week presented its candidacy to host the Gay Games in 2026.
The official announcement was made yesterday (Monday June 21) at the Veles e Vents venue on La Marina by regional president Ximo Puig, several local and provincial dignitaries, and the main LGTBI+ sporting associations.
The Gay Games, similar to the Olympic Games but for amateur athletes, take place every four years and last for over a week. They were launched in San Francisco in 1980 and regularly gather tens of thousands of participants in more than 30 sports.
In addition to the sporting agenda, the Games also feature a wealth of cultural events including exhibitions, conferences, debates, concerts and more, with no discrimination made for gender, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, athletic prowess, or age.
Valencia’s request to host the 2026 edition aims to make the city ‘a reference point for diversity, inclusion, equality and sport at all levels’.
Valencia’s entry competes with Munich and Guadalajara (Mexico), with the final decision to be revealed in Hong Kong in November.
A delegation for the Federation of Gay Games will visit the city in August to inspect the sporting facilities, local culture, quality of life and opportunities for personal development offered by Valencia.
If the Valencian candidacy is successful, the city will host 36 types of sporting events over nine days, including local specialities such as pilota valenciana.
Up to 15,000 sportspeople and 100,000 spectators from over 100 countries are predicted to travel to the winning city, with an economic impact of more than €130 million.