Winnipeg pulls the plug on 2020 OutGames
Move comes after Games were abruptly cancelled in Miami earlier this year
The organizers of an international LGBT sporting event set to come to Winnipeg in 2020 have pulled the plug on the OutGames following the abrupt cancellation of the event this spring in Miami that left thousands of athletes in the lurch.
The 2020 North America OutGames planning committee made the announcement Thursday morning.
- Winnipeg dance instructor left in the lurch at OutGames
- World OutGames unravel hours before start, prompting fraud investigation
"With the incident that happened in Miami this past June and how the athletes were treated, we feel that we are no longer in a position to deliver an exceptional experience for LGBTTQ* athletes under the OutGames banner," said Jonathan Niemczak, chair of the 2020 planning committee.
In May, the OutGames became the focus of a fraud investigation after thousands of athletes and fans were told almost all of the games had been cancelled just hours before they were set to begin.
Niemczak, also the president of Pride Winnipeg, said the committee is disappointed with how the events unfolded and can't support the organization going forward.
Pride Winnipeg paid about $2,000 for a bid to host the games and had planned to create a new organization to manage the games, hoping they would showcase Winnipeg to North America, Niemczak said.
"When we won the bid, there was tons of excitement." he said, adding that while Winnipeg is a fairly open city, the event would have given LGBT athletes a space to compete in a safe environment.
Winnipeg dance instructor Horace Luong was one of thousands left in the lurch in May when OutGames cancelled the Miami competitions.
Luong said while he was looking forward to attending the event in his own city, he's actually happy they're being cancelled.
- Former swimmer calls on organized sport to welcome gay youth
- LGBT teens staying away from organized sport: study
"I think the name OutGames has been tarnished, so in some ways, if you're say we're holding the OutGames, I think there's so much negative connotation associated with it that many people may just say we're not going to participate."
Niemczak said the planning committee is now looking at bringing another LGBT sporting event to Winnipeg in 2020 to run alongside Canada Pride, which Winnipeg will host that year.
More from CBC Manitoba: