The visits will take place in July-August 2013 in the three finalist cities among the five currently in the running to host the 2018 Gay Games, the largest sport and culture festival in the world open to all.

Federation Officer for Site Selection Dennis Sneyers (Chicago) explained that the FGG was looking for three site inspectors, along with a local media and technical support volunteer in each of the finalist cities. “Obviously we will not be able to make a final decision on all these positions until we identify the three finalists among Amsterdam, Limerick, London, Orlando, and Paris. That step will take place this March. But we want to be ready with a group of qualified inspectors so that they will have time to familiarize themselves with the requirements of our guiding documents, in particular the Gay Games Red Books for Sport and for Culture and Ceremonies.”

FGG copresident Emy Ritt (Paris) spoke of the Federation’s goal of constantly improving the process of choosing the host of the Gay Games: “We want the process to be as thorough, objective, and transparent as possible. That’s why for this cycle we have a formal application process for the site inspection team. Candidates should have familiarity with the LGBT sport and culture movement, and the Gay Games in particular. Experience with the organization of tournaments and other events is of course a plus. To ensure complete neutrality, our intent is that our inspectors not be voting members of the Assembly that will choose the host of Gay Games X at our October 2013 meeting in Cleveland, the host of Gay Games 9 in 2014. And of course, in compliance with our own gender parity policy, we hope that our team – a site selection committee cochair, three inspectors, and a media support volunteer – will have gender balance.”

Site Selection Committee cochair Dave Killian (Philadelphia) elaborated on the role of the local media support volunteer: “A major goal of our process is transparency. We have published all the documents provided to and received from bidders for Gay Games X. Our relevant committees have drafted and approved all our documents and procedures. This transparency will continue during site inspections. We are therefore recruiting a local person able to record and share still and video images of site inspections and to provide regular and timely posts to our blog and social media. In this way, all interested parties will be able to follow the site inspection visits; information that is of particular interest to delegates who will be voting at the meeting in Cleveland, but which concerns the entire LGBT and ally sport and culture community.”

Sneyers concluded: “Site inspectors will of course be visiting the venues proposed to host the various ceremonies and sport and culture events to ensure they’re suitable for the events proposed and that they meet FGG requirements. The team will also attend a board meeting of the bidding organization, as well as a community event. After visiting all three finalist cities, the inspectors will prepare a written report for the FGG, and will attend the site selection meeting in Cleveland to provide additional information for voters and other interested parties.”

Qualified persons interested in either the position of Site Inspector (from anywhere in the world) or local Media and Technical Support volunteer (from one of the bidding cities) are invited to consult the information sheet for these positions which can be found in the documents section of the website http://2018.gaygames.org. Expenses for travel, food and lodging will be covered for the Site Inspection team.The deadline for applications is 31 January 2013, with an initial response provided by the end of March.

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