March 12 - London and Paris are set to renew their rivalry to host one of the world's biggest multi-sport events after both cities submitted bids to host the 2018 Gay Games.
The two, who fought a bitter battle to host the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, are among five bidders, along with Amsterdam, Limerick and Orlando, to submit bids by the time of the closing deadline.
London overcame the odds to beat Paris 54-50 to be awarded the Olympics at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Singapore in July 2005.
If London is successful in this bid to hold an event in which up to 10,000 athletes would be expected to take part, several venues used for the Olympics and Paralympics would play a part, including the Aquatics Centre for diving, swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo.
The main Olympic Stadium could be used for the Opening Ceremony, London 2018 officials claim, "should demand for tickets mean we outgrow" the O2, where the event will be held otherwise.
The Olympic Stadium will not be used but athletics, which is due to take place in the Olympic Stadium Community Track, the warm-up arena for London 2012.
But the triathlon would be held at Hyde Park, which staged the sport during London 2012.
The 2014 Gay Games will take place in Cleveland and Akron in the United States, the country which has held half of the Games that have taken place since their inception in 1982, in founding city San Francisco twice, as well as New York City and Chicago.
Among the bidders for 2018, Amsterdam is the only bidding city to have already hosted a Gay Games, back in 1998.
"Bidding is an intensive and costly process, mobilising dozens of volunteers in each bidding city," said Dennis Sneyers, officer for site selection at the FGG.
"We began this process with over 20 expressions of interest.
"Groups from seven cities submitted letters of intent to bid.
"Five responded to our request for proposals.
"Now all five groups have completed this most recent major step on the road to Cleveland where our site selection meeting will take place in October 2013."
Bidding organisations have the opportunity to answer questions from the public about their bid before the three shortlisted cities are due to be announced on May 31 this year by the FGG Site Selection Assembly.
"We have set up a system to collect questions about these bids," said FGG co-President Kurt Dahl.
"At 2018.gaygames.org, anyone can submit a question to bidding organisations in view of it being selected for publication on our blog."
Dahl also went on to discuss applications for the role of site inspector of the shortlisted cities to host the tenth edition of the Games.
"In the meantime, we are pleased to have received 14 applications for the position of site inspector for the visits to finalist cities that will take place in late July and early August of this year, and will soon be announcing the teams," he said.
"The Assembly will meet in person at our 2013 Annual General Assembly to be held in October in Cleveland, Ohio, which along with neighbouring Akron, will be hosting Gay Games 9 in just 18 months."
Sneyers concluded by praising the bidding cities for their efforts in submitting bid books.
"I've got to say that given the demands put on potential bidders, we are surprised that all five organisations that submitted letters of intent have followed through with what appear to be excellent bid books.
"We're all very eager to look at these documents, with a total of nearly 1,000 pages of information, and will be providing a summary of key points in the coming days."
The event has only been held overseas from the US on four occasions, in the German city of Cologne in 2010, Sydney in 2002, Amsterdam in 1998 and Vancouver in 1990.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and British Prime Minister David Cameron backed London's bid to host the 2018 Gay Games earlier this year.
"The UK is currently bidding for the Gay Games in 2018 in London which could give us something to cheer on that year, and I wish them every luck," said Cameron in January.
"There should be no limit to London's legacy ambitions," added Johnson
"The capital's bid to host the Gay Games in 2018 is another example of that drive.
"[London] 2012 has given us the belief to build a positive cornucopia of world-class sporting events."
The Gay Games were established to promote equality for all people, especially gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people from all over the world, and are open for anyone to compete.
To read the complete bid books click on the link for each candidate.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2013: Cameron and Johnson back London 2018 Gay Games bid
December 2012: Exclusive - London bid for 2018 Gay Games could involve Olympic Park venues