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Following the success of the London 2012 Olympics, the sporting world has gone from strength to strength. And what better way to end the year than with some glittery, sporting fun? There were trainers or t-shirts to be seen at this event, however. These Olympians were more preoccupied with wigs, glitter and, most importantly, ice skates!
On 20th December Amsterdam celebrated its 5th ‘Pink Christmas’ as the annual Drag Queen Olympics took place on the Leidseplein ice rink. According to the organiser of the Winter Olympics, Miss Windy Mills, the message of the event is that gays can also be sport and, above all, that drag queens like to have fun.
Events included the 100m sprint and musical chairs. Recognition was given not just for the best sporting performances, but also for the most impressive outfits.
Amsterdam has long had the reputation for being a gay-friendly city. In 2009, the Dutch Tourist Board made fun of this reputation by launching their ‘Everyone is Gay in Amsterdam’ campaign. At first sight one might have interpreted the slogan literally. However the poster displayed pictures of various people looking ecstatically happy, playing on the other meaning of the word ‘gay’ as a synonym of happy or cheerful. The tourist board subsequently stated that they wanted to promote the city’s ‘all-inclusive and welcoming vibe’.
According to IAmsterdam.com, the city has a long and remarkable track record regarding gay rights; homosexuality was decriminalised way back in 1811 (as opposed to 1967 in Britain) and the first gay bar in Amsterdam opened in 1927. And in 1987, the city commissioned what it calls ‘the first ever Homo-monument’ to commemorate the gays and lesbians who died during World War Two. Perhaps the most impressive milestone of all is that the Netherlands was also the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.
Amsterdam’s Pink Christmas 2012 runs from the 19th-31st of December.