Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

For the first time, men to be involved in Olympic victory ceremonies... but only in certain roles

I read a few stories about the announcement by LOCOG, the host committee for the London Olympics, that for the first time men would be involved in medal ceremonies.

Here's the start of the LOCOG press release:

London 2012 Victory Ceremonies podiums, ceremonial costumes, make-up and flowers revealed
The official London 2012 Victory Ceremonies podiums, ceremonial costumes, make-up and flowers have been revealed today. These components will be used across 805 Victory Ceremonies taking place in over 30 London 2012 venues.
Taking place soon after a medal event finishes, the design of the Victory Ceremonies has been created to be an exciting celebration of the achievements of every medal-winning athlete.
The unique design of the royal purple podiums and costumes has been created by students at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. The students have worked with London 2012 over the last eight months to create and develop the designs.
When designing the podiums, the team of students - Gaetano Ling, Hong-Yeul Eom, Luc Fusaro, Heegun Koo and Yan Lu - used dynamic lines representing the energy that the Games and athletes represent. 40 podiums will be used across all the Victory Ceremonies and approximately 4,400 medal-winning athletes will stand on them to celebrate their success formally.
The ceremonial costumes will be worn by Games Maker volunteers in athlete and presenter escort roles and flower and medal bearer roles.

Other news reports said that for the first time men would be involved in victory ceremonies, which was great to hear. But some of these reports (and not just those from the Daily Mail) said that the roles would be segregated. This surprised me, and since the press releases from LOCOG weren't clear (for example this press release about make-up design, which says: "The make-up which will be worn by all the athlete and presenter escorts and medal and flower bearers", which implies that either women are in all roles, or men will be wearing make-up), so I asked the press service of LOCOG for clarification. 

They (promptly) responded: "The team is mixed and will be seen in the presentation very much as a team. The members of the team have 3 specific roles: the roles of leading the party (as presenter escort and athlete escort) are females, and the role of carrying the tray which holds the medal and flowers (flower and medal bearer) is male - a traditionally more decorative role. The medal and flower bearer leaves the party after the presentation has been made, whilst the female presenter escort and female athlete escort remain with the party for their exit from the presentation in front of the fans in the stadiums."

Why make an effort for equality, inclusion and parity by admitting that these ceremonial duties are not reserved for "decorative" females (good news), only to segregate the various roles according to gender?

In a context where the gender of Olympic volunteers has been an issue (for example the refusal of Iran to accept that the volunteer sign bearer at past opening ceremonies be a woman), LOCOG should show true equality and parity. This is definitely a good news/bad news kind of story.

-- Marc Naimark

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