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I just attended the most fabulous sports party on the planet - the 11th Gay Games in Hong Kong, 2023!

by Victor Clark 24 May 2024

Yesterday(November 5th), at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong, GGHK (the 11th Gay Games Hong Kong 2023) kicked off with a bang. Being there, I was totally immersed in the passion, joy, excitement, and pride of rainbow athletes from all over the world. Plus, I got a taste of the open and diverse charm of Hong Kong, the jewel of the East.

Around 3 PM, stepping out of the Wan Chai MTR station, I saw athletes decked out in deep blue team gear...

In front of the stadium, a huge crowd of athletes from all different backgrounds had already gathered...

On the second floor of the lobby, there were various posters and display boards, and everyone was snapping pictures and checking in...

Inside the stadium, athletes from various countries were seated in their respective areas, and as people trickled in, the atmosphere just got hotter and hotter...

The wave started rolling through the crowd, wave after wave, laughter and cheers filled the air...

At 4:15 PM, the opening ceremony of GGHK officially began amidst roaring cheers...

This rainbow extravaganza, held for the first time in Asia, boasted over 2,300 athletes from 40 countries and regions. The opening ceremony had all the bells and whistles of the Olympics, including the parade of athletes, cultural performances, oaths, flag raising, and the lighting of the flame.

The athlete parade was, of course, the highlight. The first to enter were the peeps from San Francisco - where the very first Gay Games were held in 1982, giving birth to a sporting event dedicated to the LGBT community...

The athletes entered one by one, in what was a free, exuberant, carnival-esque party...

The last to make an entrance, to a standing ovation and screams that nearly blew the roof off the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, was the host team, Hong Kong...

Hong Kong still shines as that inclusive, open, diverse, and vibrant Pearl of the Orient.

I came, I saw, I participated.

"We are not alone," that was the most repeated phrase by the speakers, and it's true, honey, none of us are alone. I cried.

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