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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Taking stock: A look back at the Federation of Gay Games... in 2010

Taylor Dayne performs at opening ceremony at RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne
The highlight of 2010 for the FGG was of course Gay Games VIII, a fantastic event organized by Host Games Cologne.

Britta, Marie (Games Cologne) and Laura (FGG) at New York promo
Marketing Gay Games VIII: As part of its efforts to share the risks and organising tasks associated with the Gay Games, the FGG continued to execute a multi-year plan to reinvest license fees paid by the Host directly into marketing events to promote Gay Games VIII, in particular by building upon the experience of the Chicago Gay Games to promote Gay Games VIII in North America. Special thanks to Kevin Boyer and All Terrain for their support and expertise.

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
Gay Games IX: As part of an expanded effort to support the Host, a joint GGIX Steering Committee was created with representatives from both FGG and the Host. The FGG Board also approved the development of a Gay Games registration system to be used as of 2014. Beginning with Gay Games IX, license fee payments will be based on revenue actually received and balanced with the Host’s organisational requirements.

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)
International Rainbow Memorial Run: The 2010 International Rainbow Memorial Run events pay tribute to the memory of artist Keith Haring, lesbian activist Rikki Streicher and Dr. Tom Waddell, the Founder of the Gay Games, and to all those lost to AIDS, breast cancer, or for any reason.

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
The 2010 memorial quilt exhibition took place in the "Spanish Building" of Cologne City Hall. A new quilt, created by the local Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, was created for Gay Games VIII, and was inaugurated at a moving ceremony on the eve of opening day.

Westerwelle greets Games Cologne Ambassadors
Equipe France (photo Nicolas Datiche)
Gay Games VIII: On 31 July, the Games opened under the patronage of Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle at a moving ceremony at RheinEnergie Stadium, with 10,000 athletes and artists participating.

"Sound of the Gay Games" gala concert
Award winners with official flage (N. Datiche)
Highlights included a memorial quilt exhibition at Cologne City Hall, art exhibitions in the city's museums and galleries, historical exhibitions at the German Sport and Olympic Museum, concerts throughout the city, with a gala concert at the University of Music and Dance, and countless other cultural events.

photo Marc Naimark
photo Brad Fletcher
Athletes competed in 35 sports, many of which were concentrated in Sportpark Muengersdorf and the facilities there of the German Sports University, the recently built NetCologne track stadium, and the brand-new outdoor swimming complex, rebuilt by the City of Cologne to meet international standards.

photo special permission from Patrick D. Reschke (glanzbilder.org)
New events included Sport Shooting, held in partnership with one of the oldest sports clubs in the world, whose history goes back to the Middle Ages, and for the first time, competitive cheerleading.

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
Gay Games VIII could be known as the "volunteer games". All staff were volunteers, and FGG officials heard only the highest of praise for the dedication, enthusiasm, and resourcefulness of the countless volunteers from the local LGBT community, as well as the many mainstream sports organizations involved in the events.
Ferris, Mitcham, Naidoo, Amaechi
The FGG was delighted with the presence of many Gay Games Ambassadors, including several who competed in their sport. The Gay Games are a unique opportunity for a beginner or recreational athlete to compete alongside an Olympic medallist or a world champion in their sport. The FGG also invited some special guests, such as Stephen Frost, director for diversity and inclusion for the London Olympics, board members of the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation, and Matthew Mitcham, Olympic gold medal diver.

Scholarship reception
CHEER SF at closing ceremony (photo Naimark)
Nearly 200 men and women were able to participate thanks to the generous donors to the Gay Games scholarship programme.

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
Tom Waddell Award: Finalists for the Tom Waddell Award, the highest honor of the Federation of Gay Games, were designated by the FGG Board, with the male and female winners chosen by a selection committee representing former winners, Honorary Life Members, the General Assembly, and delegates chosen by the Waddell family. The winners announced at Opening Ceremony of Gay Games VIII were Sara Waddell Lewinstein, widow of Tom Waddell and a key organizer of Gay Games I and II, and Brent Nicholson Earle, the creator of the International Rainbow Memorial Run.

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
Legacy Awards: This ceremony also saw the presentation of the 2010 FGG Legacy Awards, with a focus on participation in the Gay Games. Thus the awards for Outstanding Athletes (Joey Justin and Paulette Meggoe) and Outstanding Cultural Participants (Connie Moore and Loren McGlade), each of whom has a remarkable history as a participant in multiple Gay Games, and for Fundraising for CHEER SF, in recognition of their fundraising for charitable causes locally and at each Gay Games, and for their work to ensure that each member of the team can travel to and participate in the Gay Games.

Stone, Matthew Mitcham, Lischke, Strewinski, Leigh-Ann Naidoo
Volunteers of the Year: At the same ceremony, the Cape Town Cup was awarded to two FGG volunteers (Jason Stone and Roz Quarto) and two Games Cologne volunteers (Philipp Lischke and Barbara Strewinski). Jason and Roz have provided substantial value-in-kind in terms of legal counsel, with Roz also serving as part of the 2014 Site Inspection team. Philipp, part of the original bid team for Gay Games VIII, took advantage of his move to Sydney to become a tireless promoter of Gay Games VIII in Australia, and a huge help in ensuring the presence of Matthew Mitcham in Cologne. Barbara was a key player in Games Cologne, taking in charge in particular printing and visual design work.

Annual Meeting at Pullman Hotel
Annual Meeting: For the first time, the FGG Annual Meeting was held immediately after the Gay Games, allowing for more organizations to participate. A streamlined agenda was used to allow key business to be held in a single day. This included board elections, and various motions, including one on the designation of the FGG delegates to the Joint Working Group for One Quadrennial Event.

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
Conferences: As part of the strategic plan adopted in 2008, the FGG increased its involvement with external organizations and events. Among the most visible aspects of this commitment were the FGG's participation in various international seminars.

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
Medal of Honour: At the end of the year, the FGG Board decided to award its first medals of honour to two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the LGBT sport movement.

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.


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