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EVENINGS OUT

 


August 8 , 2014

Let the Games begin!

Sporting events have never been the province of the LGBT community, ignoring outliers like tennis player Martina Navratilova or diver Tom Daley, or stereotypes like women’s golf and men’s figure skating.

In the interest of an LGBT-inclusive sports and cultural festival, Tom Waddell and others organized the Gay Olympics in 1982. Weeks before the event, however, the United States Olympic Committee got an injunction less than three weeks before that first event barring the use of the world “Olympic,” leading to the birth of the Gay Games.

The first two quadriennial Gay Games were held in San Francisco, then headed north to Vancouver, B.C. in 1990. In 1994 they were held in New York before heading to Europe for the games in Amsterdam in 1998.

The first antipodean Gay Games were held in Sydney, Australia in 2002. The 2006 games saw some controversy, however, as the games were first awarded to Montréal, only for their license to be rescinded and awarded to Chicago instead. Four years ago, Cologne, Germany hosted the Gay Games.

This year, the ninth Gay Games comes to Ohio, being hosted by Cleveland and Akron with a week of sporting, social and cultural events. People from across the globe will enjoy the finest Northeast Ohio has to offer, from the museums and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Cedar Point, cruises along the Lake Erie shore and some of the finest restaurants in the country.

Dozens of events will fill the week of the Gay Games, from the opening ceremony featuring Olympic diver Greg Louganis and singer Lance Bass, to medical conferences, from Star Trek’s George Takei appearing in Akron to Boy George spinning at the White Party. There will be tours of area attractions, church services, plays, not to mention, of course, hundreds of sporting events.

A full listing of events is available under the “Plan My Visit” link on the Gay Games 9 website at www.gg9cle.com. To all the visitors traveling to Cleveland and Akron from near and far, welcome! And to all the athletes, it’s not whether you win or lose, what is important is to enjoy the Gay Games!

 

 

 

 

 

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