Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rob Smitherman in Der Spiegel's basketball magazine

Leading German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has been covering Gay Games, including this interview (based on Google Translate) with Chicago's Rob Smitherman, who was a sports manager at Gay Games VII, and is now working for Games Cologne for Gay Games VIII. Read the original in FIVE, Spiegel's basketball magazine HERE.

It is one of the biggest sporting events in Germany. At the Gay Games in Cologne, participants will be around 12,000. The basketball magazine FIVE spoke with one of the organizers about ambition, tolerance and the outing of prominent professional athletes.

Q: Mr. Smitherman, on 31 July start the Gay Games in Cologne. What is the event?

Smitherman: It's about acceptance and diversity. An important goal of the Gay Games is that the whole society participates, so it is not, of course, imperative that you are gay. That would be counterproductive, and finally we would like to show as part of society. Why should we exclude a large part of it?

Q: How many of the participants at the Gay Games are heterosexual?
Smitherman: About 10-15 percent, and there is hardly any other world sporting event in which more people actively participate. Like in the Olympics, ten to twelve thousand athletes are expected in 35 sports.

Q: Are the sports performance comparable?
Smitherman: It's not primarily about winning for us, but about your personal best performance. Participation, inclusion and personal best are our three guiding principles. I have attended four times, never won, but always had a great time.

Q. What is the role of a former NBA pro John Amaechi, who after his sports career came out himself, at the Gay Games?
Smitherman: He will be there as an ambassador of the Gay Games at the opening ceremony as well as at some basketball games. But he will not play, even though he is welcome to do so. Nevertheless, we are very pleased that he is here because he is first in mind when it comes to gay basketball player in the NBA.

Q. Are there different age groups to the basketball players?
Smitherman: There are women and men in four classes: under50 for Three-for-three on a basket, under35, amateur and the open class. Two teams from Washington and San Francisco are very strong - both have some former college and semi-professional players who are at their best, and will be competing in the first division.

Question: How many basketball teams were there in 2006?
Smitherman: In Chicago, we had 35 men's teams. This year, perhaps a little less. After all, the USA is the birthplace of basketball. There will probably be many more football teams in Cologne. We also have an exchange, if someone is looking for a team. We would also welcome any club team from Germany that registers.

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