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World Outgames
under way in Montreal

World Outgames
under way in Montreal

The first World Outgames so far appears to have attracted more participants than spectators in Montreal, CBC News reports. But that isn't that unusual when it comes to amateur sporting events, organizers say.

As competition enters its fourth day, athletes have outnumbered the fans at many events. "[But] that's just a very common challenge of this level as opposed to the Olympic level of amateur sport," said Olympic gold medal swimmer and Outgames copresident Mark Tewksbury.

According to CBC, games organizers said they expect bigger crowds as the finals approach toward the end of the week. They said the event is more about the athletes than the spectators.

Marc Sampson of Vancouver won two gold medals in the rowing finals on Sunday. "For us it's a big celebration. If there would be more spectators, it would be great, but it's the first Outgames, and it's good to have a little bit of exposure," Sampson said.

More than 12,000 athletes from 111 countries are participating in the games, which officially opened with a huge ceremony Saturday night. More than 40,000 people cheered entertainers such as k.d. lang, Cirque du Soleil, Sylvie Desgroseilliers, and Diane Dufresne.

Before the official opening more than 1,500 delegates took part in five plenary sessions and 200 workshops on Friday at the first International Conference on LGBT Human Rights. The Outgames close Saturday. (The Advocate)

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