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August 22 , 2014

Cleveland-Akron shine at Gay Games 9

by Anthony Glassman


Cleveland—The ninth quadrennial Gay Games wrapped up on August 16, after bringing 8,000 people to northeast Ohio for a week of sports, cultural events and parties across the Cleveland-Akron metroplex.
Representing 48 states and over 50 countries, athletes participated in 35 sports, along with an associated rodeo.
Pres. Barack Obama prepared a video statement welcoming people to the games, played during the opening ceremonies on August 9, which featured Olympic diver Greg Louganis, the Pointer Sisters, Lance Bass, Alex Newell and Broadway actress Andrea McArdle.
During the games, Ida Keeling, a 99-year old great-great-grandmother made history by becoming the first person in the 95-99 year old category to run the 100-meter dash in an internationally certified race.
There were also choral and band festival performances at the Gay Games, along with two health conferences, one focusing on treating LGBT athletes and patients and the other on LGBTI health research, along with a conference on spirituality for LGBT people of color.
People were overall astounded at the friendliness and openness of the residents; after the opening ceremony, one person complained that a police lieutenant had kept her out of the Quicken Loans Arena, although it seems he might have gone slightly rogue, but everyone else, from Twitter to Facebook to the Washington Blade, crowed about the welcome the LGBT athletes and spectators received.
“The week before I left for the 2014 Cleveland/Akron Gay Games, a friend of mine told me he hoped I didn't get shot,” wrote Kevin Majoros. “I let the comment pass but assumed it was about the assumption that Cleveland is not gay-friendly.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he continued. “While the Gay Games in Chicago and Cologne were incredible experiences, the residents of those cities really didn't give us a second glance. In Cleveland, we were cheered as we walked down the street, approached by locals on street corners and chatted up on every public transport.”
David Jason tweeted, “Wow. Group of gay games athletes just got on city bus wearing their medals and got applause from everyone on the bus. That is Cleveland.”
Even the Terminal Tower at Tower City said hello, seeing its sides lit up in the rainbow for the event.
The 2018 Gay Games will take place in Paris, France, but it will not be nearly as earth-shaking an event as the Gay Games taking over a Rust Belt midwestern American city.
For more on the Gay Games, look throughout this issue for photoboxes and northeast Ohio medalists and visit gg9cle.com for a complete listing of all events and results.
Even the Terminal Tower at Tower City said hello, seeing its sides lit up in the rainbow for the event.

 

 

 

 

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