Toronto may soon be bursting with pride as it’s been shortlisted as a potential host city for the 2026 Gay Games.
Toronto joins Auckland, Brisbane, Guadalajara, Munich, San Diego, Taipei and Valencia as cities vying to host the quadrennial event.
The Gay Games is both a sport and cultural event that will attract 10,000 athletes in more than 35 sports. There are no qualifying standards and the Games are open to anyone who wants to participate.
More than 2,000 people will also take part in cultural activities and a human rights conference.
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In a statement, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he supports the bid.
“Toronto prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive city,” he said.
“An event like this would be great for our city and region and provide us an opportunity to amplify the power of sport, culture and human rights.”
If successful, Toronto would be the second Canadian city to ever host the Gay Games. Vancouver played host to the Games in August 1990. The event could have an economic impact of upwards of $100 million.
In addition to the Gay Games, Toronto is also hoping to be named a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Canada, the United States and Mexico will co-host the event.
Paulo Senra, a spokesperson for the Gay Games bid, says the Canadian Soccer Association has been briefed about the Gay Games bid, and that it will not pose any problems in Toronto’s quest to be a World Cup host city.
A decision on the 2026 Gay Games is expected to be announced in February 2022.
The 2022 Gay Games will be held in Hong Kong between Nov. 11-19.