LGBT Olympic-Style Event Looking To Crowdsource Miami Competition

Nov 11, 2014

Jim Wilets and Cindy Brown, co-chairs of the Human Rights committee for World OutGames Miami
Credit World OutGames Miami / Courtesy

A crowdfunding campaign is underway for World OutGames Miami, an Olympics-like athletic event open to everyone, but geared primarily toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex athletes.

The event's Indiegogo goal is to raise at least $200,000. It’s scheduled to take place in Miami and Miami Beach in 2017, and it would be the first time the international games happen in the United States, although a North American version is scheduled for 2016 in St. Louis, Mo. The World OutGames are played every four years. Past locations include Montreal, Copenhagen and Antwerp, Belgium.

Sponsoring group the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA) partnered with the Miami Beach-Miami Sports and Cultural League and chose Miami and Miami Beach as the host cities, over Reykjavik, Iceland.

The funds raised will be primarily used to provide financial assistance to athletes from around the world who would otherwise be unable to participate in the games. Some of the funds will be applied toward operations, as well as World OutGames Miami's efforts to reach LGBTQI athletes across the world.

Miami Beach will serve as the headlining city, but events will be held at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County, including Lummus Park, the University of Miami, Flamingo Park, the Ransom Everglades School Aquatic Center, Tamiami Park, and the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Over 15,000 athletes are expected to compete in over 30 sports events, including basketball, diving, cycling, wrestling, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. The 10-day event includes opening and closing ceremonies, a World OutGames Village, a Women's Village, a human rights conference, and cultural activities. Organizers expect an attendance of over 40,000 international visitors.

Just a little over a month remains of the 60-day campaign hosted by Indiegogo, and the games have raised less than $5,000 to date.

Donation levels range from Bronze at $25 to Champion’s Circle at $25,000, with benefits ranging from a subscription to the World OutGames electronic newsletter to celebrity meet-and-greets. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

For more information on World OutGames Miami 2017, visit the organization's Facebook page.