|Taylor Dayne performs at opening ceremony at RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne|
|Britta, Marie (Games Cologne) and Laura (FGG) at New York promo|
Games Cologne organized a series of North American and Australian tours to promote registration, which proved to be a great success, ensuring the presence of thousands of athletes from these key areas, a real achievement during a time of great economic distress and uncertainty,.
|Cleveland+Akron delegation at closing ceremony|
A delegation from Cleveland+Akron was present in Cologne, where they received the official FGG flag in a handover ceremony from Games Cologne.
In December, a licence agreement was signed with Cleveland Special Events Corporation, a non-profit entity including public, para-public and LGBT community representatives, to serve as Host of Gay Games VIII in 2014 in Cleveland+Akron, Ohio.
New Gay Games website: In January, FGG launched a new website www.gaygames.org, offering the possiblity of greater interactivity and faster updates. Work continues on transferring content from our former site and adding features such as an improved events calendar.
|Mayor of Cologne, Earle, La Riviere-Zijdel, Mitcham (photo Nicolas Datiche)|
Runs in past host cities, starting with San Francisco and including Vancouver, Sydney, Amsterdam, New York and Chicago, lead to the final run in Cologne on opening day of Gay Games VIII, with hundreds of people running, walking and biking along the banks of the Rhine. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Brent Nicholson Earle for ensuring that this event, along with the memorial quilt exhibition, takes place at each Gay Games.
|Inauguration of Memorial Quilt|
|Westerwelle greets Games Cologne Ambassadors|
|Equipe France (photo Nicolas Datiche)|
|"Sound of the Gay Games" gala concert|
|Award winners with official flage (N. Datiche)|
|photo Marc Naimark|
|photo Brad Fletcher|
|photo special permission from Patrick D. Reschke (glanzbilder.org)|
Record performances were obtained in several sports, including powerlifitng (German national record level) and swimming (masters).
Food, entertainment, and friendly encounters were availble at the villages at Rudolfplatz and Neumarkt, including a Women's Place and stages for live music and other entertainment, including the cheerleading competition.
|Pickup, Morgan, Rogat|
Neumarkt was also the site of the FGG booth, staffed by volunteers (special thanks to Jenna) and shared with the Cleveland delegation and sponsor Olivia Cruises. At the booth, visitors could take the WADA Athlete Outreach quiz, adapted to take into account the Gay Games VIII inclusive anti-doping policy.
|Matthew Mitcham at swimming venue|
|Ferris, Mitcham, Naidoo, Amaechi|
|CHEER SF at closing ceremony (photo Naimark)|
Closing ceremony took place outdoors at Tanzbrunnen park on the Rhine, with a festive "Oktoberfest" atmosphere.
Special thanks to Annette Wachter, Michael Lohaus, Christof Gaspers, Armin Lohaus, Barbara Strewinsky, and the ENTIRE Games Cologne team for their tremendous work that resulted in a fantastic week in Cologne for all!
|Brent Nicholson Earle and Sara Waddell Lewinstein|
Tribute to Gay Games Bidders: To show appreciation to those who have heeded the call to "take the flame", FGG invited a representative from each of the past twenty Gay Games Bidding Organisations to the Gay Games VIII Opening Ceremony and awarded a Gay Games Medal of Honour to each organisation as a token of their appreciation and gratitude at the FGG Awards Ceremony. This award was not only for the efforts and sacrifice of bidders in support of the Gay Games movement, but also for their longstanding cooperation and loyalty over the years. Over the last three decades, the Gay Games has been very fortunate to have had many bidders from all over the world step forward to participate in the Site Selection process. Without the support of bidders, the Gay Games would not be the premier LGBT international multisport and cultural festival that we know today. Therefore, it seemed only fitting to pay tribute to all Gay Games Bidders and to salute them for being key contributors to the almost 30-year Gay Games movement.
|Ambassador John Amaechi, Joey Justin, Kurt Dahl|
|Stone, Matthew Mitcham, Lischke, Strewinski, Leigh-Ann Naidoo|
|Annual Meeting at Pullman Hotel|
We take this opportunity to thank Darl Schaaff and our board liaison Martyn Pïckup for their work in ensuring the success of the various events organized by the FGG in Cologne.
|Kate Rowe at Women and Sport|
|Buthelezi and Naidoo|
|Agora du sport|
In January, the FGG was represented by Marc Naimark and Emy Ritt at the Agora du sport in Paris at a session on racism in sport, under the patronage of French international football legend and education activist Lilian Thuram. In March, Kate Rowe presented a paper on FGG's gender and gender equity policies at the International Working Group for Women and Sport's international conference in Sydney.
In July Darl Schaaff represented the FGG at the International Olympic Committee's Sport for All conference in Finland. And earlier this month Hlengiwe Buthelezi and Ambassador Leigh-Ann Naidoo represented the FGG at the 7th World Conference on Sport, Education, and Culture in Durban.
|Emy Ritt and Bruno Aussenac|
The first was presented earlier this month to outgoing president of French LGBT sports organization Fédération sportive gaie et lesbienne (FSGL), Bruno Aussenac, and the second will be announced in early 2011.
UNESCO: In November, discussions with UNESCO at their Paris headquarters were launched in the context of the UNESCO/IOC 7th World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education in Durban, South Africa. Further discussions will continue as FGG works to obtain UNESCO patronage for specific FGG events.
One Quadrennial Event: In March, the FGG Board issued a public statement supporting efforts to organise a joint quadrennial event with GLISA. With support and approval received from the FGG General Assembly at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Cologne, FGG members elected the Co-Presidents and five delegates to the 1QE Joint Working Group in an open and transparent voting process. With twenty-three candidates from around the world having applied to participate in the joint working group, the General Assembly reviewed the applications and voted to designate the top five choices by preferential voting. Special thanks to Marc Naimark and Sean Fitzgerald for managing the myriad of procedures and logistics and for ensuring complete transparency in the process.
We look forward to another year of productive and collaborative efforts as we go forward together towards Gay Games IX 2014 in Cleveland and One Quadrennial Event in 2018.