There are just under two thousand days until Hong Kong hosts the Gay Games. It seems like there is a lot of time. There isn’t. Bidding for the games will be a lot easier than hosting them. A few weeks ago the Gay Games committee signed a memorandum of understanding formally bringing the games here, the first time in Asia. If the organizers get their wish, it will be the most complex event in Hong Kong’s history.
The organizers laid out their initial plans for the 2020 games, at a press conference last week. The games will be held over nine days beginning with the opening ceremonies in Hong Kong Stadium. Athletes will march in with their country like in the Olympics explained Dennis Philipse, the Founder, and Chair of the Gay Games Hong Kong.
There would be 36 events taking place at 40 venues across the city. The athlete’s village will be at the central harbourfront and provide a place for people to mix and mingle. The closing ceremony will be held at Stanley Beach. Along with the athletic events, there will be cultural events happening at the same time.
“Events around the main event are important,” said Melvin Byres, the managing director of MSB Concepts who is an organizer of the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong. He was there to offer insight into how some of the international events are organized in Hong Kong. “It is a way to bring in more people who are not athletes or participants in the actual events.”
The biggest challenge will be the Government since most, if not all of the events, will be held in government-owned facilities. The games will also need every department’s cooperation with the police helping with crowd control and security; the transportation department will be involved to help move people from place to place and so on. Every government department will be tapped to make sure the games run smoothly.
Elements of the government are supportive of the games like the tourism department, who was well represented at the press conference. Other departments have written supportive letters, but when the winning bid was announced, there was a tepid response from Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
“You need to help the community to look beyond the word ‘gay’ and how it is open to everyone. The games are about diversity,” said Mason Hung, Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. He then explained how the committee needs to show how the games will be beneficial to the Hong Kong community to show the diversity the city has but also how the city can pull off a world-class event.
The community needs to start laying the groundwork now and engage the community as much as possible. The organizing committee can’t do it alone. If you want to volunteer, you can email, visit their website or find them on Facebook or Instagram.