Gay Games 2026: Valencia Spain Scores the Big One
- The Gay Games are a sporting/cultural event that, since 1982, offers a welcoming environment for the sporting practice of the LGBTQ+ community.
- The event has participation, inclusion, and diversity as its fundamental principles.
- Valencia’s candidacy surpassed contenders Munich, Germany, and Guadalajara, Mexico, aiming at being an open, cosmopolitan, respectful of diversity, and inclusive city.
The international federation has decided in favor of Valencia taking into account its ability to host an event the size of the Gay Games. This means that the commission that visited the sports facilities of the city on site considered the quality of its infrastructure to be adequate.
In addition, Valencia, Spain, has a strong attraction thanks to its climate with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, its gastronomy, and its cultural agenda. The accessibility and connections with the city, its commitment to sustainability and green spaces, and above all the possibilities for personal development that the city offers to all people regardless of gender, nationality, physical condition, or orientation, were also appreciated.
The Valencia Gay Games 2026 will take place between May and June. The event will last just over a week and will host the competitions of more than 30 sports. These include local sports such as the Valencian pilot, a traditional sport essential to the local history and culture, and the colpbol, a team sport, and then water sports such as sailing, rowing, and canoe polo as well as martial arts. There will also be sports like basketball, beach volleyball, hockey, soccer, softball, and rugby, and individual disciplines such as fencing, tennis, golf, and cycling, as well as novelties such as e-sports and quidditch, the competition reminiscent of Harry Potter in which the players compete by holding a broom between their legs.
The event, which will also include various cultural activities, is expected to attract 15,000 athletes and around 100,000 visitors, with an economic impact for the city of more than 120 million euros. In this sense, the Gay Games will become the most important sporting event in the Valencian community after the America’s Cup.
The Gay Games edition scheduled for 2022 will be held in 2023 due to COVID in Hong Kong.