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WorldOut Games cancelled, thousands of athletes and spectators affected

WorldOut Games 2017 cancelled at the last minute affecting thousands of spectators and athletes.
Photo credit:
WorldOut Games - Facebook

The 10-day WorldOut Games were supposed to start today, but the organization has canceled the event last-minute, with the exception of a few sporting categories.

Thousands of spectators and athletes were expected to attend the event which happens every four years.

WorldOut Games released the following statement:

It is with deep regret that due to financial burdens, 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

The event was to feature 450 events for LGBT athletes, entertainment and an awards ceremony; some coming from all over the globe to participate.

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales sent the City Commission a letter yesterday according to the Miami New Times trying to help the company running the event meet their requirements. 

"In our effort to do everything possible to support World OutGames, the City has reduced deposits and extended deadlines, multiple times," Morales wrote. "In fact, with events set to begin tomorrow, the City has yet to receive the required $5,000 special event deposit and several other key permitting components have not been met. City staff is doing everything possible to make this event happen, and we are still willing to issue the permit in the final hour."

In a report we ran earlier this year, sponsors participating in WorldOut were:

Bacardi, the City of Miami Beach, Coca-Cola, Florida Sports Foundation, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Happy Copenhagen, the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners and Miami Sports.

World OutGames Miami Global Conference on Human Rights is still scheduled to continue.

Speakers according to the website include, Omar Sharif Jr., Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Athlete and Transgender Activist Chris Mosier, and United Nations Independent Expert on SOGI Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn among them.

Social media is reacting to the announcement as one would expect, some calling on the organizers to refund money. 

"How disgraceful! I haven't seen ONE comment than "Deep regret" from the organizer to the people who have paid. Why hasn't anything been mentioned about reimbursements for these people who were to participate?" - Joel S. Slotnick Facebook

"I'm absolutely sick with disappointment about this, and ESPECIALLY for our friends who planned and saved to come from other countries!! I'm sure many are already in Miami, with no opportunity to get refunds on travel expenses, and hardly any events to watch, let alone compete in. Friends, I am SO SORRY." Emily Coles Facebook

"No email warning .. I checked emails yesterday !! I can't believe this !!! I'm furious !!!" - Roger Moresi Facebook