The 2022 Gay Games were postponed for a year, the organizers announced, officially invoking travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus in Hong Kong, the city chosen to host the event.
Hong Kong continues to enforce particularly strict rules tied to covid, imposing a hotel quarantine on foreign visitors for one to three weeks, keeping the city largely isolated from the rest of the world.
“The unpredictable progression of covid variants and associated travel restrictions continue to make it difficult for participants around the world to make plans to travel to Hong Kong,” Dennis Philipse, co-chair of the Hong Kong Gay Games, said in a statement on Wednesday. .
Modeled after the Olympic Games, the Gay Games take place every four years and bring together LGBTQ and straight athletes to promote a message of inclusion and equal rights.
Some 12,000 participants from more than 100 countries were expected for the event, scheduled for November 2022.
But even before the announcement of this postponement, the Gay Games were threatened both by the coronavirus and the political turmoil in Hong Kong, when China decided to give a more authoritarian tone to the financial center.
Last month, AFP had revealed that Taiwan would not send a delegation to the Gay Games for fear that the athletes would be detained under Hong Kong’s new national security law.
A good number of Hong Kong militants arrested for taking part in the democratic protest movement are leading LGTBQ activists and some pro-Beijing politicians made homophobic expressions about the Games or had presented them as a threat to national security. AFP (HN)