Tennis star Martina Navratilova will open this year’s Outgames in Montreal.

The world-renowned tennis champion will present the Declaration of Montréal, the resolution of a conference on gay rights, with Olympic medallist and Outgames Co-President Mark Tewksbury at the Opening Ceremony on July 29, 2006.

“I am thrilled to be involved with the Outgames. Over the past three years, the Montréal organisation has built a new model for lesbian gay bisexual and transgender sport and cultural events, one that honours the past, speaks to the present, and stands ready to embrace the future,” said Miss Navratilova.

Mr Tewksbury, a Canadian Olympic Champion, said: “We are extremely honoured to have the support of Navratilova to help us spread the word about this ground-breaking international event,”

Miss Navratilova will also join the Outgames Circle of Champions, an international group of prominent individuals supporting the goals and principles of the 1st World Outgames.

The Outgames will take place in Montréal, Canada, from July 26 to August 5, 2006 and will bring together 16,000 participants from 120 countries and 250,000 visitors for an unforgettable celebration of LGBT sport and culture. The programme features 35 sport disciplines, 6 cultural activities and the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights.

The Declaration of Montréal will later be introduced to the United Nations and other international forums.

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