It was a milestone in the Pink Revolution and for many people a highlight in their lives: Gay Games Amsterdam 1998. On 1 August 2023, it will be 25 years since this unique sports and cultural event started. We are going to celebrate!

IHLIA preserves the archives of this vibrant event, but what are the stories behind all those special archives? Together with former participants and organisers, IHLIA will collect and share the memories.

In the run-up to August 2023 the Gay Games will be brought to life through known and unknown anecdotes and stories, videos and photos.

Join in! Share this site with others, react to the stories and send us your own photos and memories. Together we will proudly look back and enjoy the event that made Amsterdam the Gay Way to Europe.

Everyone can participate until 8 August 2023!

We are counting down again…

until 1 August 2023, exactly 25 years after the start of the Gay Games Amsterdam 1998


Read the stories collected by the editors of Initiative Group Gay Games Amsterdam 1998-2023.

Whether it concerns highlighting special items, such as The colorful accreditation pass, the Bidbook or the special life stories of participants and volunteers, such as Michael Bhola, you are back in 1998.

Agenda ↗

In addition to collecting the stories, the initiators also go out or organize a meeting about this event.

Next event
Until 12 February 2023 | Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Retrospective exhibition Nicole Eisenman

Share your reactions

Join us! Comment on the stories, share your own photos and memories. Your story may also be featured on this site.

Latest reaction
Ed van Betuw – An anthropology student at Leiden University researched the experiences of LGBTI persons in sport. She also made a short documentary about this, Proud to sport, with Ed van Betuw as one of the two main characters.

Women’s football at Wartburgia
Soap opera in Friendship Village
  • The banned tournament
    At the last minute, the International Skating Union (ISU) banned its members from participating in the figure skating tournament during Gay Games Amsterdam 1998. Skaters from all over the world in their most colourful skating outfits were desperate with grief. The camera crews present from NOS, RTL, Hart van Nederland and AT5 filmed the crying… Continue reading The banned tournament
  • I had a dream
    While on sick leave due to knee problems, Lucie Gunsing volunteered for the Gay Games in the registration department At the same time, she was trying to get pregnant through an insemination process. After a year, she had to find replacement work because of the Poortwachter Act (Gatekeeper Act). Fortunately, she was able to turn… Continue reading I had a dream
  • New film with Ed van Betuw
    As an anthropology student at Leiden University, Lotte van den Hanenberg researched the experiences of LGBTI persons in sport. She also made a short documentary about this, Proud to sport, with Ed van Betuw as one of the two main characters. Ed talks about his involvement in Gay Games Amsterdam 1998 and Smashing Pink in… Continue reading New film with Ed van Betuw
  • Party animals
    Many people say that Gay Games Amsterdam 1998 was one big party. Some people mean that literally. And indeed, there were parties all over the city, every night. Official, unofficial, for men, for women…. By: Paul van Yperen It seems to have been great. Seems, because I did hear that Grace Jones was performing, but… Continue reading Party animals
  • The Gay Games Press Conference in Chicago in 1997
    Francis Cox, management assistant during Gay Games Amsterdam 1998, emailed us a special series of photos: ‘A few days ago I was browsing through some old photos and found footage from the Gay Games press conference in Chicago.’ By: Paul van Yperen In 1997, together with the international branch of the VVV, we were present… Continue reading The Gay Games Press Conference in Chicago in 1997
  • We cannot let this run, we have to participate!
    For Lydia la Rivière-Zijdel, the highlight of Gay Games Amsterdam 1998 was when she drove her wheelchair into the Amsterdam ArenA: ‘I immediately feel the emotion again. This was a triumph of so many things at once. As for myself that we were in front with so many people with disabilities. That we got it… Continue reading We cannot let this run, we have to participate!

Who are we?

This website is an activity of IHLIA and the Gay Games Amsterdam 19998-2023 Initiative Group, consisting of Marian Bakker, Marc van den Broek, Janine van Doorn and Paul van Yperen.