Eurovision Stars welcome Eurogames 2016 to Helsinki
Last week, Helsinki welcomed the Eurogames, the largest multi-sport event for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered athletes. The Eurogames featured 14 different sports with other 3000 athletes registered in total.
In addition to the sport there was an extensive entertainment schedule featuring a number of stars from Eurovision and from the Finnish preselection ‘UMK’. Sandhja (Fin 2016); Krista Siegfrids (Fin 2013); Softengine (Fin 2014); Mikael Saari (UMK 2016) and Saara Aalto (UMK 2016) all featured in the opening ceremony.
Each year the Eurogames has links to the contest, with Eurovision artists already being recognisable to continent wide audiences and with the continuing popularity of the contest within the LGBT community. Krista Siegfrids in particular remains popular with the Finnish LGBT community after the famous same-sex kiss in her performance of ‘Marry Me’ in Malmö, which many also credit with improving public opinion of the concept of same-sex marriage, which was then legalised in Finland following a vote in Parliament the following year. So it was no surprise to see Krista invited to perform a full set at the Closing Party on the Saturday evening and getting a great reception from the crowd.
Krista’s set in the closing party contained a string of hits, including ‘Marry Me’, ‘On and Off’, ‘Amen’, ‘Better On My Own’, ‘Faller’ (her Melodifestivalen entry from 2016), and her own cover version of the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’. She also sang her ballad ‘Can You See Me?’ which she dedicated to those who lost their lives in the recent shooting in Orlando, Florida. Krista put on a great show for the crowd, who were largely celebrating their sporting success, or in my own case, recovering from the disappointment of just missing out on a bronze medal in the Eurogames Football tournament.
You can check out some of the performances here:
The Eurogames is an annual event taking place in three consecutive years in each four-year cycle. The fourth year in the cycle is reserved for a World OutGames, which in 2017 will take place in Miami Beach. With Eurovision now being broadcast in the USA for the first time this year, we may yet see the link to Eurovision continue at the OutGames.