2017 worldOutgames in Miami Beach
A delegation of 12 civic and community leaders and volunteers from Miami Beach and Miami recently returned home from the worldOutgames III in Antwerp, Belgium, bringing back with them the official worldOutgames flag. The flag officially symbolizes that Miami Beach and Miami will be the host cities of the next event -- worldOutgames IV, which will take place Friday, May 26, to Sunday, June 4, 2017.
The contingent traveled to worldOutgames to observe the structure and organization of the 12-day event which began with a Human Rights Conference prior to a sports competition that included more than 30 events and 5,000 participants. In addition, the delegation spent many hours meeting with the Antwerp host committee and the officers and delegates of the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA), the organizing body of the worldOutgames.
The delegation consisted of Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower, Florida State Representative David Richardson, worldOutgames IV Co-Chairs Ivan Cano and Bruce Townsend, board members Keith Hart, Jerry Torres, Bob Balsam, and George Neary, as well as community supporters Barry Moskowitz, Harvey Burstein and worldOutgames IV sports committee members Marc Brown and Nelson Robaina Jr.
The flag changed hands from the Antwerp host committee to the Miami Beach-Miami delegation during the closing ceremony on Saturday, August 10, officially signaling that Miami Beach-Miami would be welcoming the global community to worldOutgames IV in 2017.
"We are extremely honored that GLISA chose Miami Beach-Miami for the 2017 worldOutgames; this is a major leap forward for our community," said Townsend. "This experience has been unbelievable for our team and we were grateful to be able to represent Miami Beach and Miami during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are ecstatic about showcasing Miami Beach and Miami on this significant world stage four years from now."
The Miami Beach-Miami Sports & Cultural League, the organizing committee for worldOutgames IV, will host a kick-off event during National Coming Out Day, Friday, October 11, 2013, beginning at 6 p.m. The kick-off event is free and open to the public at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.
The worldOutgames is sponsored by GLISA International and takes place every four years in a different global city. Previous hosts have been Montreal, Copenhagen and Antwerp. 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. For more information on worldOutgames 2017, visit www.worldoutgames2017.com.