Taiwan’s flag flies at Paris Gay Games opening

Paris, Aug. 4 (CNA) The Republic of China (Taiwan) flag was waved during the colorful opening of the 2018 Gay Games in Paris Saturday, not just by the Taiwanese team but also by teams from other nations or areas that support Taiwan.

The Taiwanese athletes entered the venue at Stade Jean Bouin waving the ROC flag and a banner reading "The 1st Asian country to legalize equal marriage."

The flag was also waved by some members of the French team and by a team from San Francisco.

Yang Chih-chun (???), head of the Taiwanese team, said they had given several dozen ROC flags to French softball alliance members, who said they would fly the flag during the opening parade.

In addition, Yang went on, some other foreign groups had also asked for flags before the opening ceremony, saying that using the name "Taipei" does not show enough respect to people living in Taiwan, therefore they want to do something for them.

On the official website of the Paris Gay Games, the name of the Taiwanese team was changed from "Taiwan" to "Taipei" in late July. The renaming came amid growing pressure by Beijing on international sports event organizers in their description of teams from Taiwan.

China strongly opposes the idea of Taiwan competing as "Taiwan" in any international events to avoid any suggestion that Taiwan is an independent country.

Some 10,317 people from 91 countries are attending the 10th Gay Games in Paris.

Held every four years, the Gay Games started in San Francisco in 1982. Since then, it has developed into an international sports and cultural event that promotes acceptance of sexual diversity, featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes and artists.

Paris Gay Games co-president Manuel Picaud said in a recent interview with French newspaper Le Figaro that the Gay Games is not limited to LGBT groups.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the event, which is organized on the principles of "participation, acceptance and self-transcendence," he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel