|Kate and Paulette|
|Kate and Hlengiwe|
I saw Hlengiwe again at the 2009 annual meeting in Cologne, where she was a delegate for our South African member organisation, TOGS, and where she won the FGG Volunteer of the Year for her work.
I have supported her in a small way by supplying running shoes, and we always said we wanted to run together. It's not very easy to arrange, since I'm in Sydney and she's in Durban, but our dream finally came true in Cologne.
While there, Hlengiwe had a stomach bug and I was exhausted from my duties as FGG VP for External Affairs, for which I was dealing with our awards ceremony and working with our Gay Games Ambassadors. So when we met up at the 6km mark of the 10K run, we decided to support each other in our bid for the finish line. We both managed to keep the pace up and it was a magic moment to share the rapture of the crowd as we crossed the line hand in hand.
I am fortunate to have Hlengiwe as a friend, thanks to the Gay Games. This is the true spirit of how the Gay Games bring together people who would never otherwise meet.
Since then, Paulette and I have attended every Games, have competed against each other, and have become fast friends. Although we live on oppsite sides of the world (Paulette in New York and me in Sydney), we have managed to see each other outside the Games, and even competed together in the New York Marathon and the Jaimacia Marathon.
Paulette is a most generous woman and always shares her experience with cyclists new to the Gay Games. This is the spririt and joy of being involved in our global family.