After Copenhagen in 2009, Antwerp hosts this year the 3rd World Outgames from August 3 to August 11. The competition, which takes place every four years, is a global LGBT event which brings together thousands around sports, culture and LGBT activism. 35 sports will be represented, 8,000 to 10,000 participants and 250,000 visitors are expected to take part in the 9-day event!
Antwerp is the largest city in the Flemish region and was chosen for good reasons : it is also the European Sports Capital in 2013. The home-city of painter Rubens is also a Flemish architecture jewel, the diamond world capital, a capital of fashion and design, and it is without any doubt a European gay-friendly haven with a large LGBT community.
As an introduction to the sports events, an international conference on human rights will be held from July 31 to August 2. Ten years after the adoption of gay marriage in Belgium, this conference is expected to result in the "Antwerp Declaration", a testimony to the aspirations of the LGBT community.
The opening ceremony on August 3 will be the real kickoff of the games. The sports competitions will start on the very next day, until August 11: archery, martial arts, diving, badminton, golf, swimming, squash, tennis or soccer... Nearly 40 disciplines will be present. The games will also host the Same-Sex Dance World Championships.
Among other events organized on the occasion of the World Outgames is Mr Gay World election. The 5th edition grand finale takes place on August 4. Thirty countries are expected to compete to succeed to Mister New Zeland!
The World Outgames also offer a very diverse cultural program with lectures, a men’s choir competition, theater plays, yoga and meditation classes... Many events are dedicated to women and family, particularly through the Women's Village.
As a grand finale of the World Outgames, Antwerp pride will serve as the closing ceremony. The parade will start at 2PM on August 11 and march along the Scheldt to the World Outgames Rainbow Village.
To date, 70 countries have registered at least one delegation to participate in these games of tolerance. 75% of registered athletes are men. Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Australia, Russia, Canada, Denmark, are the countries wit the most delegates. The whole world will gather in Antwerp to share the values of sport.
The whole city will be mobilized. With more than 1,500 volunteers (you can still be a candidate), the support of local and national authorities such as Belgium Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, the organizers have done everything they can to turn this event into a huge success.
So be there! Join the World Outgames in Antwerp! You will find all necessary information on the World Outgames official website as well as on Tourism Flanders website. More information on Antwerp Pride website.
And if you are looking for an accommodation during the event, go to misterbandb.com