Miami Beach & Miami have been chosen to host the worldOutgames in 2017, announced Daniel Vaudrin, president of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association. Vaudrin made the announcement on February 28 during the selection ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, site of the 2013 worldOutgames. This will mark the first time that the worldOutgames has been held in the United States.
“We are extremely honored that GLISA chose Miami Beach-Miami for the 2017 worldOutgames, this is a major leap forward for our community,” said Bruce Townsend, co-chair of the Miami Beach-Miami Sports and Cultural League, the 12-member volunteer coalition that entered the bid on behalf of the cities. “This experience has been unbelievable for our team and we are grateful to represent Miami Beach and Miami for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are ecstatic about being able to showcase Miami Beach and Miami on world stage.”
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower and Vice-Mayor Michael Gongora, along with several members of the Miami Beach- Miami Sports and Cultural League, including Bruce Townsend, Ivan Cano, Cindy Brown, George Neary, Keith Hart and Jerry Torres traveled to Antwerp, Belgium for the selection ceremony. Prior to this ceremony, Miami was shortlisted with Reykjavik, Iceland.
Included in the Miami Beach-Miami bid were proposals to host a human rights conference, a diverse cultural program, a worldOutgames Village, opening and closing ceremonies, and 30 sporting events. The event takes place every four years in a different city and lasts 10 days. The Miami Beach-Miami games are slated for May 23 to June 3, 2017.
While Miami Beach will be the headlining city, events will be held through out Miami-Dade. Lummus Park, Flamingo Park, Tamiami Park, the University of Miami, the Ransom Everglades School Aquatic Center and Miami Beach Convention Center were all presented as venues in the bid.
Miami Beach-Miami Sports & Cultural League members who presented the bid on behalf of the cities and the United States are:
• Ivan Cano, Co- Chair- Executive Director of Miami Beach Gay Pride
• Bruce Townsend, Co- Chair, Social Catering Sales Director-Centerplate at the Miami Beach Convention Center
• Jerry Torres, Treasurer-Secretary, Principal Stereo Entertainment
• Steven Adkins, President & CEO of the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
• Bob Balsam, General Manager- Global Spectrum, managing company of the Miami Beach Convention Center
• George Neary, Associate Vice President/Cultural Tourism, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Cindy Brown, Executive Director of the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens
• Nick Tierno, General Manger- Centerplate at the Miami Beach Convention Center
• Jose Sotolongo, Executive Director of the Miami- Dade Sports Commission
• Keith Hart, Relationship Manager- GBPS- American Express
• Richard Murry, President – The Murry Agency Public Relations & Marketing
• Karen Brown, Executive Director of the LGBT Visitors Center
• Matti Bower, Mayor, City of Miami Beach, Honorary Board Member
• Michael Gongora, Vice-Mayor, City of Miami Beach, Honorary Board Member
The worldOutgames is sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) and take place every four years in a different global city. Previous hosts have been Montreal and Copenhagen with the 2013 games slated for July and August 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium. The worldOutgames are open to all who wish to participate, without regard to sexual orientation, and all competitions are arranged according to the skill level of the athletes. Cultural and human rights components make the event a well-rounded experience for athletes and non-athletes alike.
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