About VIVA

VIVA – Vienna Valentine – is a three-day meeting for queers & friends with sport, party and a message: Break Ice. Break Records. It is Vienna’s international masters championship in swimming with the greatest diversity of countries – and Austria’s only LGBTIQ+ masters swimming tournament. With SV Aufschlag Wien and the additional sport of Volleyball, VIVA is Austria’s largest LGBTIQ+ sports event.

Since the first tournament in 2005, VIVA has been under the patronage of Ulrike Lunacek (former Vice-President / Member of the European Parliament (Greens) and ex-chairwoman of the LGBTI Intergroup in the European Parliament), who also competes herself. Paul Schauer (in his function as President of the Austrian Swimming Association OSV) opened the first VIVA together with Ulrike Lunacek and took over the patronage until VIVA4.

For VIVA8 both the current Presidents of the Austrian and the Vienna Swimming Federations, Arno Pajek and Marlies Kinzel, were holding the patronship. VIVA – Vienna Valentine – is co-organized by the teams of Kraulquappen and Aufschlag.

VIVA8 was opened at 10am by Kraulquappen member Ulrike Lunacek. She welcomed all the teams (41 from 13 countries), and especially present two prominent swimmers: Marlies Kinzel, President of the Vienna Swimming Association, and Maxim Podoprigora, European 200m breaststroke champion in 2003, and the first Austrian to win a medal at world championships: In Fukuoka in 2001 he won the silver medal in his primary event, the 200m breaststroke. He participated in three Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008).

VIVA wants … to encourage and spur on more tolerance and respect, more solidarity. And because it is ultimately also about love, VIVA takes place regularly every two years on the Valentine’s Day weekend and is committed to recognising sporting achievements and successes.

VIVA is looking for … queers and friends to take part in the swimming and volleyball competitions and celebrate successes with us. It is almost a VIVA tradition to have athletes who participate, show solidarity and encourage us that it doesn’t matter which gender you are attracted to.

VIVA attracts … Queers & Friends to Vienna. With the eighth edition of the Vienna Valentine, we are preparing for 350 athletes who want to take home our crystal medals again in swimming and volleyball. In 2005, 150 participants from more than 10 countries took part for the first time. In 2009, a German Masters record was set.

VIVA is … supported by the club SC Diana, which manages the swimming competition according to FINA Masters rules.

… equipped with technical & judging staff from the Vienna Swimming Association to measure and record success in the best possible way.

… welcomed by the Austrian and Viennese Swimming Associations, who welcome the VIVA initiative.

… pushed by the City of Vienna, which provides the sports facilities during the competition.

… made possible by the work of volunteers who believe in a common cause with us.

VIVA invites … lesbians, gays, and their friends to come to Vienna. The 9th addition of the Vienna Valentine tournament is ready for the athletes participating in swimming and volleyball, and who will hopefully take as many of our crystal medals as possible back home. At the first tournament in 2005, 150 participants from more than 10 nations took part – and in 2009, a German masters record was swum.