Organizers of the Gay Games announced Wednesday that the event, meant to take place next November, will be postponed for a year due to COVID-19.
“The unpredictable progression of COVID variants and corresponding travel restrictions continue to make it challenging for participants from around the world to make plans to travel to Hong Kong,” Dennis Philipse, co-chair of Gay Games 11 Hong Kong, said in a statement.
The sporting event will take place in November 2023 instead.
Speaking to Hong Kong Free Press, Philipse cited the quarantine length for those arriving in Hong Kong from countries deemed “high risk” when explaining the postponement.
“We want to make sure that everyone is able to come to the event,” Philipse said. “We cannot be in a bubble event, people cannot be in quarantine for 21 days.”
The delay, he added, would also give participants more time to train given access to sporting facilities have been restricted due to COVID-19.
Hong Kong beat Washington D.C. and Guadalajara, Mexico, in its bid to host the 2022 Gay Games.
In June, lawmaker Regina Ip called on the government to provide more support in terms of securing sporting venues for the Gay Games.
Other legislators, however, bashed the games. Lawmaker Junius Ho, who is vocal about his homophobic views, referred to the revenue Hong Kong would bring in from hosting the games “dirty money.”
The Gay Games was first held in 1982 in San Francisco. Occurring every four years, the Gay Games welcome over 10,000 athletes to compete in around 30 sports.