Majority of Events Cancelled at World OutGames in Miami Mere Hours Before Opening Ceremonies
With the World OutGames in Miami mere hours away from opening, the Board of Directors issued the following statement this past Friday that indicates the majority of the 450 events have been cancelled.
It is with deep regret that due to financial challenges, World OutGames must cancel opening and closing ceremonies and sports programming with the exception of aquatics, country western dance and soccer. The Human Rights Conference and cultural programs will continue as planned. We thank everyone who has supported the effort and apologize to those who will be impacted by this difficult decision.
Board of Directors, World OutGames Miami
This leaves many athletes, spectators, and media having to incur personal losses for registration fees, travel expenses, and lost wages at work. Many had already arrived by the time the cancellation notice came through, others were on route, and still others are at home deciding whether to still go or not. This is addition to the months of practice and preparation for the competitions is just devastating to the athletes. Needless to say this has upset many people who have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their frustrations and anger. CBC and Toronto Star have also reported on this. Toronto OutSports has also been vocal on the subject.
The Miami Beach Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office have jointly opened a fraud investigation into the event due to alleged misappropriation of funds, according to a statement from the board of directors for the World OutGames.
As well, the Facebook page is now being updated by community members, and not the Board. Here is their latest statement trying to salvage things as best they can:
Credentialed badge holders can access the majority of cultural programs for FREE on a first come first seated basis.
In addition the program Preservation Under The Rainbow with Herb Sosa is FREE but w/ very limited seating.
Thanks to the efforts of the City of Miami Beach, the LGBTQ community in South Florida, and the wonderful athletes who came here to participate in their sports, we have made great strides and have been able to create alternative events to replace the majority of the canceled World Out Games sporting events.
This and future posts until further notice will be made by community volunteers who are NOT affiliated with World Out Games, so that we can communicate with the participants and supporters. We will do our best to answer your questions about the events.
The event seemed poorly organized right from the beginning, with a website that was not updated regularly, and there was no information for spectators on how they could purchase tickets and attend. It appears the whole event was badly managed and will be interesting to see what the outcome of all this brings.
On a positive note, Toronto Triggerfish won a bronze medal in the competitive division for Waterpolo, one of the few sporting events that wasn’t cancelled.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.