The wait is finally over! The VIII Gay Games have begun in Cologne, Germany. It’s one of the world’s largest amateur athletic events and allows people from all walks of life to compete. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Tom Waddell, a 1968 Olympics decathlon competitor. He wanted to create a place where all LGBT athletes could show their equality to the world through their skills and competitive spirit, and hopefully promote a better understanding through sport. Their website states it best:
“The Games define winning as achieving one's personal best. Anyone can participate, regardless of ability, age, sexual orientation, race, gender, nationality, political or religious beliefs, ethnic origins, or HIV status.”
Teams usually compete by city or state instead of country. Check out what Team Oregon is bringing to the games.
Opening ceremonies were July 31st with openly-gay German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle lighting the traditional torch. His statement to the crowd and world was, “We do not ask for privilege, we ask for respect.”
About 10,000 participants from 70 countries are participating in sports ranging from the traditional such as figure skating and swimming to more colorful ones such as ballroom dancing, and touch rugby (I would so be into that…).
The games will continue until August 7th and I’ve found some great sites to check out some of the action.
More on next page...
The Federation of Gay Games Blog has photos and commentary from participants and spectators…mostly guy stuff so far, but I found a piece about women’s fast pitch softball there and nice photos of Taylor Dayne performing at the opening ceremony. Ladies, start using your zoom lens on the athletes!
One More Lesbian has a great interview of the performers Taylor Dayne and Agnes and video of the opening ceremony. They will be live streaming all during the Games.
As well as sports, there are cultural events going on--like dances—of course there will be dances. Take for instance Tuesday: A DJ-rocked cheerleading contest followed by the Gay Cologne Carneval.
What happens at the Games stays at the Games…
Get more sports from Helen here!