At least 300 athletes from around the world are arriving in Tel Aviv today for the city’s first international gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans (LGBT) sports tournament.
Athletes from 18 countries, including Britain, Germany and Russia, will be taking part in four days of events at the Tel Aviv Games.
The event is organised by Sagi Krispin and Tai Maoz of the Tel Aviv LGBT Sports Club, who have run similar small-scale events over the last two years.
“We’re feeling a lot of excitement and many of people who have no link with the event have been showing an interest and getting involved,” said Mr Maoz.
“Everyone knows Tel Aviv is a gay capital and it’s famous for its Gay Pride event. We want to show that there’s much more to gay life in Tel Aviv than parties and nightlife. Sport is such a good way to bring people together.”
Any competitor over the age of 18 can take part in swimming, tennis, basketball and football events. The swimming tournament offers age categories up to 100+ years.
Trips to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea are also offered by the organisers.
The tournament opens with a reception hosted by the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai. Tickets for the events surrounding the tournament, including the official dinner on Thursday and party on Friday can be purchased at telavivgames.org