Vienna City Marathon 2024

“Embrace Diversity” at Vienna City Marathon

Vienna, 21st April, 2024 

This year the runners went through a Queer Section on the VCM course on Linke Wienzeile operated by activists and volunteers of Türkis Rosa Lila Villa. Türkis Rosa Lila Villa partnered with the organisation of the Vienna City Marathon, the EuroGames Vienna 2024, WASt – Wiener Antidiskriminierungsstelle, Aufschlag Wien, and Kraulquappen Wien to support runners. The station at the Türkis Rosa Lila Villa distributed water and refreshments to athletes in its ‘water and cheering station’: Music, drag cheerleading and entertainment games ensured continued motivation with the expected 40.000 runners of this year’s VCM. Türkis Rosa Lila Villa celebrated queer joy with drag queen Athene Atlas and DJ Kerosin95.

“The Türkis Rosa Lila Villa welcomes everyone to stand together for a tolerant and open society, where queer people can thrive together and challenge imperialism, ableism, colonialism, racialist thought and capitalism binary patriarchy”, explains Berry Maletzky, board-member of the Türkis Rosa Lila Villa (TIPP). The Villa and its partners raised awareness by ensuring that the Queer section of the course supports the community, cheers, and motivates runners under the slogan “Embrace Diversity”. 

The Villa and its partners strongly believe in the necessity of creating a safe environment within sports that is free from discrimination, racism, and sexism. They also advocate for the visibility and representation of LGBTQIA* individuals and athletes within the sports community. Since its existence in 1982, the Villa has been a symbol of queer community and collective activism. The Villa supports queer activism against heteronormative structures and offers peer-counselling. 

The EuroGames are the premier LGBTQIA* multi-sports event in Europe celebrating diversity in sexual orientation, sex characteristics and gender identity. Started in 1992, the main goal is to provide a safe space for everyone to come together and play sports. From 17-20 July this year, Vienna will host the EuroGames for the first time. “We are proud to be part of VCM, the largest running event in Austria, and to support all the participants in the ‘Embrace Diversity’ zone. We invite all VMC athletes to also join the running competition or any of the many other sports at our EuroGames”, said Maria Schinko and Gerhard Marchl, co-presidents of EuroGames Vienna 2024.

The Türkis Rosa Lila Villa, the EuroGames Vienna 2024, Aufschlag Wien and Kraulquappen Wien share a voice centered on the reinforcement of stronger participation of the LGBTQIA* community in sports clubs and game activities within Austria.

The Türkis Rosa Lila Villa believes the efforts of the VCM are important for inclusivity and equality in sports. “Embrace Diversity, the motto of the cheering zone at the Türkis Rosa Lila Villa, perfectly expresses the spirit of the marathon. The race and its people are colourful and diverse. “The cheers are very welcome by the runners, especially at this point in Linke Wienzeile, because you often run against the wind here. It will make the Vienna City Marathon an even bigger celebration for everyone in Vienna,” said VCM Managing Director Kathrin Widu.

The Türkis Rosa Lila Villa and its partners continue to push for diversity and inclusion in public events including sports events and remain committed to providing the queer community with access to key activities in the city of Vienna. The larger Villa community is happy to welcome runners and continuously pushes for more inclusivity in sport activities in Vienna.