Cologne, Germany – Cologne’s Gay Games organizers announced today that Sailing and Field Hockey have been added to the Sports Program for Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010. By placing the sailing regatta in The Netherlands, the 2010 Gay Games will be the first where competition will take place in more than one country.

July 31 to August 7, 2010 some 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries will travel to Germany’s Rhine Valley when Cologne hosts the Gay Games VIII Sports & Cultural Festival. Sporting events ranging from soccer and beach volleyball to billiards, dancing, softball and figure skating will take place. Pre-registration for all sports is now open with full registration scheduled to launch July 1, 2008.

Both sailing and field hockey have a historic presence in previous Gay Games having been contested in Chicago in 2006 and Sydney in 2002. “There were so many requests for sailing and field hockey that we decided to include them as well,” said Annette Wachter, managing director of Games Cologne.

The sailing regatta will be held in the Netherlands, about an hour’s drive from Cologne. “Sailing will be offered on the Maas Lakes near Roermond, the Netherlands – a world-renowned sailing area where the region’s best crews train and compete,” Wachter said. “There will be a shuttle service bringing the sailors to the Maas Lakes and back to Cologne.” The regatta will conform to international standards, and all results will be official and accredited internationally. Demand for sailing is expected to be high; Chicago’s 2006 sailing regatta was the first sport to fill up.

The second new sports event, a field hockey tournament, will take place at Muengersdorf Sportpark in Cologne, directly adjacent to RheinEnergie Stadium. Sixteen teams will face off against one another. Teams from Australia (men) and The Netherlands (women) are defending Gold Medallists from the Sydney 2002 Gay Games.

About Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010
Between July 31 and August 7, 2010 the Gay Games VIII Sports & Cultural Festival will take place in Cologne, Germany. As many as 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries will take part in this quadrennial sport and cultural event. More than 46,000 guests are expected for the Opening Ceremony at the RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne, home of the famous Cologne Soccer Club. Forty-percent (40%) of the 34 sports disciplines will take place at Cologne’s 135-acre renowned Müngersdorfer Sportpark with all other sports (except sailing) occurring within 20 minutes of the centre of Cologne. A 2,000-year old city with its roots in the Roman era, Cologne is now one of Europe’s most dynamic cities and is recognized for its sports and culture as well as its tolerance. Pre-registration for Gay Games VIII is now open at www.games-cologne.com (English) and www.games-cologne.de (German). Full registration will launch July 1, 2008.

The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants) and Chicago (2006, 11,500 participants). The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event's founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™. For more information, visit www.GayGames.org.