With summer officially started, what better way to kick off the season then with a discussion about the World Outgames 2013 hosted in Antwerp Belgium this year? I had a brief conversation with one of the organizers for the Sport Shooting Event, Koen Van Den Bergh. Here’s what he had to say:
TGP: What is World Outgames?
KVDB: World Outgames is an international event organized from within the LGBTQ Community. The event consists of three main pillars: a human rights conference, a cultural festival and sporting events.
TGP: So, the participants are required to be from the LGTBQ Community?
KVDB: No, the event is open to everyone who would like to attend and compete, but will mainly be gay and lesbian participants.
TGP: Where is World Outgames 2013 being held?
KVDB: World Outgames will be held in Antwerp this year. This is the third year it has been taking place. Previous locations have been Montreal in 2006 and Cpenhagen in 2009.
TGP: Is the even modeled after the Olympics?
KVDB: The spirit for the sports programme will be the original Olympic creed: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part.” Fair play is the highest standard and will be rewarded as such. We want to give everyone the right to become a champion, but also the right not to become a champion. Athletes will be competing for Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals.
TGP: How long do the games last?
KVDB: the Human Rights Conference begins July 31st and ends August 2nd. Opening Ceremonies for the games will be on August 3rd with closing ceremonies on August 11th.
TGP: Do you anticipate large coverage and spectators?
KVDB: The world Outgames Organization are expecting 20,000 – 25,000 visitors each day. We expect media coverage from all the major Belgian newspapers and local television stations.
TGP: Wow, that’s a lot of spectators. How many participants do you expect?
KVDB: There will be about 5,000 to 7,000 participants in about 35 different sporting events. Sport Shooting is being represented for the first time and has about 20 participants from 5 different countries.
TGP: What is your involvement with the World Outgames?
KVDB: I organize the Sport Shooting Event, which I participate in.
TGP: How long have you been Sport Shooting?
KVDB: I have been shooting since 1986, so about 27 years.
TGP: Where can everyone get more information regarding the World Outgames event and participation?
KVDB: You can find all registration and event information at www.woga2013.org.
And there you have it folks, a brief insight into World Outgames 2013. I have never been to Antwerp but when I think of it, it reminds me of the diamond commercials…You know the one right? If not, I’m just going to let you keep guessing. 😉
If anyone will be attending, I’m sure we’d love to see some photos of the event. Don’t forget to check it out beginning July 31, 2013!