The countdown begins. The largest LGBT sporting event of 2011 will descend on Vancouver next month, when 3,000 athletes come to town to participate in 18 different sports as part of the North America Outgames.
Started in 2006 to celebrate LGBT athletes and culture, the Outgames are open to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation. Anyone can take part, regardless of experience, and competitions are arranged according to skill level.
Sports range from traditional activities, including softball, swimming, tennis and track and field, to less conventional offerings, such as dragon boat racing, ten-pin bowling and poker. There’s even a 4-kilometer recreational walk planned in picturesque Stanley Park. Early bird registration for athletes is going on now, with entry fees as low as $15.