Wednesday, July, 27 will see the opening of the EuroGames 2022 in Nijmegen.

Over 2000 athletes from 42 countries are coming to Nijmegen to participate in 17 tournaments. The opening for this grand LGBTQI+ sports tournament will happen on Wednesday evening July, 27 with a spectacular Opening Ceremony on the Waalkade, in Nijmegen. After the Four-Days-March the city of Nijmegen will not, as it usually does, fall silent. Rather it will bubble and burst with life as it’s propelled forward into the bright lights of the EuroGames 22.

Official opening

The EuroGames are held each year in respective European Cities. Last year was Copenhagen, and this year is Nijmegen. Next year in 2023, Bern will be in the driving seat. The EuroGames is an event organised under license from the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF)

As with all other major sporting events, a spectacular opening is planned on the Waalkade for Wednesday evening July, 27.  This event is a celebration of inclusivity and acceptance in the Netherlands and Europe but unfortunately, there is a more serious communique. An event such as the EuroGames is not possible everywhere, and this must change.

The Waalkade opens at 17:00 and the program starts at 19:00. The speakers will be the Lord Mayor of Nijmegen, Hubert Bruls, and Jan Markink, Alderman of the province of Gelderland, Henk Beerten, chairperson of the EuroGames Nijmegen and the co-chairs of the EGLSF Sarah Townsend and Hugh Torrence. There will be a colour-rich flag parade, displaying the flags of all 42 participating countries.

Son Mieux and Ellen ten Damme

Drag Queens from the Haus of ThomTom in Nijmegen will launch the celebrations entertaining the audience from all across Europe, showing everyone how to be themselves and how to enjoy it.

Following the queens will be performances from Ellen ten Damme and soprano soloist Deirdre Angenent, Merijn van Haren (Navarone), and Shinshan and Ishwana.

At 9.30 pm the main act of the evening Son Mieux will grace the stage of EuroGames 22. Son Mieux made a definitive breakthrough this year with their hit “Multicolor” a perfect signature piece for the EuroGames and all we stand for.

Finally, the evening will close with an eruption of lights and sounds from DJ St. Paul.

Not just 17 tournaments and 2000 participants from 42 countries

Together with the various sports tournaments, taking place in the club-houses and on the grounds of the many sports associations in Nijmegen and in the spirit of diversity and inclusion, the EuroGames village on the Mariënburgplein, has a daily program packed full of workshops, films and theatre, there are exhibitions, guided tours and parties plus lots of chances to meet new people.

Exclusion in sports persists

Inclusiveness in sports for the LGBTIQ+ community is far from guaranteed, even in the Netherlands. Too often, we still hear “that doesn’t happen here” and “but we’re very tolerant and inclusive”.However, for athletes from the LGBTQ+ community, not all sports associations are safe. Internationally, there is still a lot to improve upon. The international swimming federation FINA recently excluded transgender people from participating in their preferred gender category. The top Russian tennis player Darya Kasatkina came out this week and talked about the difficulty she encountered.

The EuroGames are needed, now more than ever. We are happy and proud to be organising this amazing event in the oldest city with the youngest vibe. One week after Pink Wednesday, we’re going to show all of Europe how this city really cares and how everyone can partake in sports freely and be themselves!

This Press release was released after Pink Wednesday in Nijmegen about the next big LGBTQI+ event in Nijmegen: the EuroGames from 27th of July till 30th of July.