by Tobias Sauer
Worst-case scenario in Miami: Shortly before the start of the World Outgames, the organisers cancelled the sports event almost entirely. Athletes and visitors were caught cold by the news. Financial problems are mentioned as a reason.
The World Outgames were announced as an “event that brings more athletes together than the Olympic Games” – but now the dream has been largely bust at the very last moment. “With great regret we have to cancel the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the sports programme with the exception of water sports, Country Western dance and soccer due to financial reasons,” the organisers explained on their Facebook page on Friday evening in Miami (local time). “The Human Rights Conference and the cultural programme are taking place as planned,” they wrote.
The ten-day LGBT sports event was almost completely cancelled around 24 hours before the planned opening ceremony. The organisers had counted around 15,000 participants and scheduled competitions in 30 sports. Originally, the opening event was scheduled to take place in the 36,000 seat Marlins Park stadium, where Beyoncé went on stage before.
Athletes vent their anger.
In social media athletes vent their anger. Many have travelled to Miami a few days before the games, others were caught by the cancellation when they were already on the plane. “This last-minute cancellation shows a total lack of respect for the participants, especially those coming from abroad,” a Belgian athlete told the Miami Herald.
Among other things the athletes accuse the organisers of having known for some time that the games could not be held. Among other things, unpaid fees to the city of Miami are mentioned as evidence.
Alternatives to the Miami world Outgames
Participants have now founded the Facebook group Miami World Outgames Alternative and can communicate via this platform. Hotels such as the Gaythering, Club Score and Bar Palace offer disappointed visitors free drinks or free admission. “We cannot imagine what our foreign friends are thinking of Miami now,” the Palace team comments in the Facebook group, “but we want to make their stay in Miami a fantastic experience despite the circumstances.”
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