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The Paris Gay Games in Pictures: ‘The Atmosphere Is Really Electric’


The gathering of athletes, for events ranging from basketball to dancesport, bills itself as the world’s “most inclusive” sporting event.

French athletes marched onto the field during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Gay Games at the Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris.CreditLucas Barioulet/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 10th Gay Games, an international sports event that bills itself as the world’s largest and “most inclusive” — anyone can participate, even straight people — will come to a close on Sunday in Paris.

The event has grown tremendously since its kickoff in 1982 in San Francisco, where it was originally advertised as the “Gay Olympics” by its founder, Dr. Thomas F. Waddell, an Olympic decathlete. (The name was changed after the United States Olympic Committee sued, and a Supreme Court decision upheld a ban on its use.) The first tournament included 1,350 athletes in 17 sports.

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Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris visiting the Games this month.CreditLucas Barioulet/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

This year’s Games, which began Aug. 4, had more than 10,000 participants from around the world. They ranged in ability from beginners to professionals and competed in 36 sports and events, which included traditional ones, like basketball and rowing, as well as less common competitions, such as pétanque, same-sex dancesport and queer urban dance.

Cheerleaders practicing before the opening ceremony in Paris.CreditChristophe Petit Tesson/EPA, via Shutterstock
Participants competing in the synchronized swimming contest, in which all genders can participate on one team.CreditLucas Barioulet/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The beach volleyball competition had more than 100 participants.CreditChristophe Petit Tesson/EPA, via Shutterstock
In the dancing event, another competition that is not included in the Olympics, same-sex pairs compete in front of judges.CreditLucas Barioulet/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



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