Some like Paris in the springtime. But you may prefer it in the summer — especially this summer, when The City of Light (et L’Amour!) plays host to Gay Games 10 from August 4 to 12.
Held every four years, the Gay Games are the world’s largest sporting and cultural event open to all. Paris 2018 will welcome more than 10,000 participants from over 80 countries to take part in 36 sports, 14 cultural events, conferences, and festivities, all under the Gay Games guiding principles: Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best.
Sports on offer run the gamut: from swimming, diving, track and field, judo, and bowling, to team sports including basketball, softball, beach volleyball, rugby, and football (by which they mean “soccer”), to a couple of winter sports (figure skating and ice hockey), and even local favorites pétanque and roller derby. (OK. OK. I made that last part up. While it is part of the Games, roller derby is not un thang français.)
There’s even an event called Urban Dance Workshop, a series of three noncompetitive classes highlighting styles such as voguing, waacking, hype, locking, and hip hop. And one workshop is specifically adapted for an audience with disabilities — which reminds me: Gay Games welcomes everyone to participate in their own way. Registration is open to all people from 18 to 99 years old, without discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, ethnicity or disabilities, and also without any selection requirements.
What do the Games discriminate against? Tardiness.
So, if you want to participate in a sport —or perform in cultural offerings such as ballet, chorus, orchestra, or cheerleading (Gimme a C! For Culture.) — you must visit the Paris 2018 website and register by June 30. (By mid-May almost 8,900 had already signed up!) Registration is €205 plus a specific fee for each sport or cultural offering. Those are generally in the €20 to €60 range (sailing tops out at €285). And the site will tell you not only the fees, but also how many spots are left for participants in each sport or cultural activity (golf is already filled).
If you don’t want to jock out or rock out, but do plan to be one of the 300,000 spectators descending on Paris for the Games, there is no deadline: Attendance at almost all sporting events is free. But there are entrance fees for the ceremonies, parties, and some performances during the Games.
Which means: If you want tickets for the opening ceremonies at Jean Bouin Stadium (site of Stade Français rugby matches; perhaps you’ve seen the calendars?), the after-party at Le Grand Palais featuring Israeli DJ Offer Nissim, the women’s party, or any of the choral and orchestral concerts, dance performances, or other limited-capacity events, get thee to the website. Now!
At press time, only 160 tickets were left for Pink Flamingo, the over-the-top, costumed aquatic show that serves as the grand finale to the aquatics competition and has become a Gay Games centerpiece. And that is one wet bird you really do not want to miss, hunties!
To register, purchase tix, or get more info: paris2018.com.