GW is looking to host multiple on campus events in the 2022 Gay Games if D.C. is awarded the bid, an athletic department spokesperson said last week.
The Gay Games, a week-long sporting competition held every four years specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes, selected D.C. as one of three finalists, along with Guadalajara, Mexico and Hong Kong, in March. The winning city will be selected at the Federation of Gay Games annual meeting this October.
In recent months, GW has assisted in D.C.’s effort to attract the games by conducting tours of the on campus athletic facilities like the Lerner Health & Wellness Center, the spokesperson said.
“Our involvement has been conducting a walk-through with the host committee to help them evaluate the feasibility of conducting several events of the Games at Lerner Health & Wellness, including squash, racquetball, basketball and volleyball,” the spokesperson said. “We’re always open to having discussions to see if we can be a part of events that bring the community together around athletics.”
The 2018 Gay Games, which will be held next August, is expected to bring about 15,000 participants from more than 70 countries to participate in 40 different sports – roughly 3,800 more athletes than the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero and Lisa Deply Neirotti, an associate professor of sports management, are members of the Advisory Board to D.C.’s bid for the games. Neirotti said that her role on the Board includes answering any questions in order to explain why D.C. is the best city for the games to be held.
Neirotti said in an interview last week that if D.C. is selected, then students in Foggy Bottom would have a chance to be involved.
“Having them in D.C. definitely would provide internship opportunities and also possibly jobs for GW students,” Neirotti said. “It already has.”
Neirotti was invited to join the board by 2010 GW graduate and former runner for the Colonials men’s cross country team Stephen Rutgers, who now works for the Washington Blade. Rutgers serves as a co-chair and a member of the Steering Committee for the District’s bid.
The website for D.C.’s bid claims that the large number of participants and spectators that come with the games would bring more than $100 million to the city.