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 31, 2010

Games Cologne/FGG scholarship reception

The morning before opening ceremony saw a reception for Games Cologne and Federation of Gay Games scholarship beneficiaries. Among the hundreds of athletes supported, Games Cologne was in charge of those from Eastern Europe, while the FGG handled the rest of the world, with a focus on the Chosen FEW soccer club from Soweto, whose journey to Cologne was made possible by a generous gift from Dick Uyvari in honor of his late partner Joe LaPat.

FGG Ambassador Leigh Ann Naidoo hosted the meeting, which included a speech from Deputy Mayor Angela Spizig, and a brief message of appreciation from GLISA co-presidents Wessel Van Kampen and Julia Applegate, who presented a plaque in honor of the occasion to the co-presidents of Games Cologne and of the FGG. Games Cologne head of scholarships Alen Popovic and his FGG counterpart Paul Oostenbrug welcomed participants, offered advice on the week to come, and explained to all present the challenges of funding and operating this program.

Also present were FGG Ambassadors Michelle Ferris, John Amaechi and David Kopay, along with guest Matthew Mitcham.

The meeting concluded with participants sharing stories of their journey to Cologne, including the reading of a rousing poem by a member of the Chosen FEW (we're trying to get the text for you), all to the sound of vuvuzelas (ahem).

Live from Cologne - Team Cologne enters Gay Games opening oeremonyi

All 900 members of Team Cologne enter the stadium to the cheers of the enthusiastic home crowd, and all of the other athletes and artists, of course.

Live from Cologne - Gay Games Opening Ceremony Finale with Taylor Dayne & Fireworks

Taylor Dayne performs the new Gay Games anthem, Facing a Miracle, surrounded by fire dancers and fireworks. The song - written by Norwegian and Dutch composers who won a Eurovision-style contest - is great and Taylor Dayne performs it well. She finished to much cheers, had to wipe some tears from her eyes, and the Gay Games Opening Ceremony was finished.

Live from Cologne - Lighting of the flame

The lighting of the flame at the Gay Games involved groups of Cologne volunteers running the flame around the stadium before handing it off to a fire breather who lit the cauldron. This was right before the performances. You can tell by the cheers from the crowd that everyone was having a great time.

Live from Cologne: Cologne summer nights

Live from Cologne report from Martha Ehrenfeld

We just had a lovely dinner at the Women's tent in the Neumarkt. They are playing music, warm summer night, the ladies are out.

Carla and I got our credentials this afternoon. Lots of volunteers there so it went very fast, I bet they will have no problem with the crowds tomorrow. Weather forecast keeps on getting better for tomorrow!

Oh, and a group of South African women walked into the credential area singing. It was beautiful. They have male and female player welcome bags. I will have to find out what the difference is.
Martha Ehrenfeld

Live from Cologne: What do you eat when in Cologne? Italian food!

Live from Cologne report from George and Todd

Live from Cologne: Agnes Carlsson, Taylor Dayne, Matthew Mitcham introduced to press

From Games-Cologne.com

"The anticipation for the opening ceremony of the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 is immense.

"Not only for the organizational team, also for the artists, who will perform Saturday, July 31 at the two and a half hour long show in the RheinEnergieStadium on stage. “I am happy to perform for people who want to convince through athletic performance and stand up for equal rights for homosexual people” says Taylor Dayne. The American singer will sing the official hymn of the Gay Games, “Facing a miracle” at the opening ceremony.

"Also for the Swedish pop singer Agnes Carlsson the appearance at the Gay Games Cologne is something special. “Many gays and lesbians supported my career from the beginning. It´s a great honor for me to perform at the opening ceremony”, says Agnes. She will sing her top hit “Release me”.

Photo above Agnes Carlsson. Below Annette Wachter (Games Cologne), Agnes Carlsson, Taylor Dayne, Michael Lohaus (Games Cologne).

Below Michelle Ferris (Olympic Cyclist, Australia), Matthew Mitcham (Olympic Diver, Australia), Leigh-Ann Naidoo (Olympic Beach Volleyball Player, South Africa), John Amaechi (Professional Basketball Player, UK).

Read full article with photos HERE.

Live from Cologne: Team Band practicing for Opening Ceremony

LGBT bands have been part of the Gay Games from the very beginning. Participants arrive in Cologne having had a chance to practice the musical program for the Opening Ceremony and for performances during the week of the Gay Games, but not together as a group.

In this picture members of the band are warming up for tonight's Opening Ceremony. Waving in the middle is Doug Litwin, FGG Board member and part of Lesbian & Gay Bands of America. Welcome to Cologne, Doug, and best of luck to the band tonight.

Photo by Kevin Boyer.

Live from Cologne: The Cathedral

Everyone coming to Cologne will go home with at least one photo of the Cathedral. The Dom is the symbol of Cologne, found on official city logos. It is such a landmark that many give directions in reference to the Dom. According to Wikipedia:

"Construction of Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and took, with interruptions, until 1880 to complete. It is 144.5 metres long, 86.5 m wide and its towers are approximately 157 m tall. The cathedral is one of the world's largest churches and the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. For four years, 1880-84, it was the tallest structure in the world, until the completion of the Washington Monument. It has the second-tallest church spires, only surpassed by the single spire of Ulm Minster, completed 10 years later in 1890. Because of its enormous twin spires, it also presents the largest façade of any church in the world. The choir of the cathedral, measured between the piers, also holds the distinction of having the largest height to width ratio of any Medieval church, 3.6:1, exceeding even Beauvais Cathedral which has a slightly higher vault.

"The cathedral is a World Heritage Site, one of the best-known architectural monuments in Germany, and Cologne's most famous landmark, described by UNESCO as an "exceptional work of human creative genius". It is visited by 30 thousand people every day."

Photo by Kevin Boyer

Live from Cologne: welcoming Seattle, Philadelphia and Chicago to Cologne

Teams Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle got together Friday night, July 30, at the Hilton City Center around the corner from Cologne's famous cathedral for welcoming drinks and dinner.

Pictured bottom row Tim and Kelly from Seattle, top row Kyle, Tom, Kevin, Drew and Dick from Chicago.

Federation of Gay Games annonces winners of 2010 Tom Waddell Award

Tom Waddell Award winners Sara Waddell Lewinstein and Brent Nicholson Earle with Olympic champions Matthew Mitcham and Leigh Ann Naidoo
Prior to the public presentation of the Dr. Tom Waddell Trophy tonight at the Opening Ceremony of Gay Games VIII, an informal meeting was held to thank all nominees for the award and to announce the winners, male and female, of the 2010 Tom Waddell Award, Brent Nicholson Earle and Sara Waddell Lewinstein.

Finalists Connie Kempe Schaelicke, Jessica Seaton, Sara Waddell Lewinstein, Brent Nicholson Earle, Gene Dermody (finalist Brent Minor is not in Cologne, due to an injury)
Present at the meeting were Stephen Frost, director of diversity and inclusion at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, who spoke of the convergence of values between the 2012 Olympics and the Gay Games movement, past Tom Waddell Award winners Lydia Zijdel La Rivière and Derek Liecty, members of the Selection Committee, Gay Games Ambassadors Leigh Ann Naidoo and David Kopay, and FGG guest of honor at Gay Games VIII, Matthew Mitcham, who spoke with great emotion about the progress already made for athletes since his participation in the Beijing Olympics, and the role of the Gay Games movement in achieving greater inclusion for all athletes.

More info on the Tom Waddell Award HERE.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Philly athletes head to Games

Local Philly LGBT athletes were dressed and ready to go during a sendoff party July 22 at Stir as the LGBT community came together to wish them good luck in their trip to Cologne, Germany, for the Gay Games.

The 55 Team Philadelphia athletes making the trip include the organization's co-chair Kurt Douglass (from left) — modeling the local contingent's opening-ceremony shirt — Michael LoFurno, marketing chair Bob Szwajkos, treasurer Carl Funk — wearing the closing-ceremony shirt — Adelina Santiago and Jan Elsasser. The local competitors will play 13 different sports throughout the weeklong event, which ends Aug. 7.

Kurt Douglass said the countless hours he and Bob Szwajkos, as well as all of the participants, put in to prepare for the trip paid off at the send-off party last week at Stir.

“At the bon voyage party, you could really see that the entire community is behind Team Philadelphia and all of the athletes, so that’s the reward we were able to get for the year we had out there,” he said.

Each athlete had to pay his or her way, and Szwajkos said the individual teams held fundraisers to support their members. Portions of the Team Philadelphia membership dues helped to subsidize uniforms — which consist of jackets and opening- and closing-ceremony shirts — and Szwajkos said LGBT community members turned out in full force to support the athletes with both financial and in-kind donations, such as the contribution of shirts by the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus and another gift of small Pennsylvania flags, which the athletes will carry in the opening ceremonies.

Continue reading HERE.

Memorial quilts exhibition opens

A moving display of memorial quilts from past Gay Games is on exhibition at the Spanischen Bau of the Rathaus (city hall) in Cologne for the duration of the Gay Games.

The latest addition to this collection, a quilt made by AIDS Hilfe Cologne, was unveiled by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in a touching ceremony. 

Speaking at the opening were the Lord Mayor of Cologne, Herr Juergen Roters, and Brent Nicholson Earle, the founder of the Gay Games International Rainbow Memorial Run.

Thanks to Andrea Muller and Armin Lohrmann from Games Cologne, Darl Schaaff and Robby Davis from the FGG, the staff of the City of Cologne, and Heidi from AIDS Hilfe Cologne.

Paul Mart at WomenPlace

Paul Mart, the lone surviving male member of the team that organized Gay Games I in 1982 is in Cologne where he'll be competing in bodybuilding. Today he was at the Gay Games Village at Neumarkt where he visited the hosts of WomenPlace, a place for women, but where men are welcome!

Shock troops for an orange revolution?

We love the Games Cologne accreditation volunteers!

Live from Cologne: Waking up in Germany

Live from Cologne report from Sonya Lewis, Team Colorado

Waking up to the first full day in the “Old World” is both exhilarating but overwhelming. Allison and I have been looking forward to exploring Berlin for a long time and especially with our dear friends, Nana and Susanne., who live here. Imagine trying to show someone Denver and Boulder in one day? Do you do mountain or city, your typical life with family and friends, or as athletes..your sport and teammates?.Well..we were treated to all of the above.

We took in the Turkish and Jewish neighborhoods of Berlin. Saw the famous Reichstag (Congress and former head of the Third Reich) and strolled the grounds of the Arts Complex (see video). And Berlin is having their own Biennial of the Americas…(like Denver)..they featured artists who are displaying art and concepts about reclaiming our natural resources and using materials that would be shoved off to the Landfill.. very green and thought provocating.

We played tennis at the Tennis club and met some of the team and friends. Ah..the Red Clay…So..we did NOT see anything about the Gay Games while in Berlin..not a total surprise because we did not make it to any of the Gay Villages but when the subject of Why Cologne? came up. I was indeed surprised. Now..remember I am relatively new to the world of FGG decisions so I am playing catch up if you will….Apparently, Berlin had indeed bid and maybe won the Games..again..translation issues could be at play here..but There are 2 large LGBT Sports organizations in Berlin and they.. surprise surprise… fight about FGG or GLISA. And when these past battles reared their ugly heads over the 2010 Games..the Gay Mayor of Berlin stepped in and said..if you can not get along..then Berlin will not support the Games…thus Cologne.

So..let me know..what you have heard?..and that brings up the Cleveland 2014 discussion..but for another day..

Love All

Live From Cologne: Smooth as fine German engineering

Live from Cologne report from Kevin Boyer, Chicago.

Gay Games registration is running very, very smoothly. There are plenty of volunteers and today, at least, the lines were very short or nonexistent. It took me just 1 minute to get my pre-printed credential on the lower level, and that was my stopping to thank the volunteers for their hard work.. Even later when there were more people, it was one volunteer or more to every participant (see pic). Good job, guys.

Upstairs at the Koelnmesse building (where registration is taking place), all of the sports coordinators are giving out schedules, maps and generally helping people orient themselves. Up there I ran into Hlengiwe Buthelezi, a runner from South Africa who has helped represent LGBT athletes from that country to the Federation of Gay Games. She was up there with a couple of friends (see pic). Later downstairs the Chosen Few lesbian soccer team from South Africa came into the registration area singing as they often do to cheers from the many volunteers.

Photos by Kevin Boyer

Live from Cologne reported by Sonya Lewis, tennis player from Team Colorado

We have arrived..in fantastic Berlin. “Ich bin ein Berliner for sure. We walked around the Grimmstaße (Turkish neighborhood) with the canals, boutiques, plentiful cafes and lots of nightlife. Grilled meats and hummus platters have never tasted so great.

Our fantastic hosts and fellow tennis players, Nana Fischer and Susanne Decker are the best..and ” Thank the Goddess” their english is impeccable.We have already driven past the Bradenburg Gate, the Memory Church (Kaiser Wilhelm Gedaechtnis Kirche) and KuDamm (Berlin’s Rodeo Drive) and will come back to stroll near them later in our trip. We whisked past the old Check Point Charlie entrance to the American quarter of Berlin and stared at the historical Russian entrance, I have named “Putinville”.

The air is clean and fresh, there are no bugs at night and the energy of the city is vibrant and alluring.The four of us have so much to catch up on since last year in Copenhagen that our tongues will be wagging all though the night. Our big topic tonight is the Myers Brigg personality tests. What is your Myers Brigg? Since our hosts are both Psychological Therapists it was wonderfully fun to teach them about the concept and guess their personalities.

After many hours of many topics..it is finally sleepytime.

Love All….

Team Chicago arriving in Frankfurt and Cologne

American Airlines flight 84 from O'Hare to Frankfurt was filled with Gay Gamers from Team Chicago, Wisconsin, Team St. Louis and Team LA. There were enough of us that when we landed the American Airlines welcome included a nice special welcome to those traveling to Cologne for the Gay Games.

Ok so the Team Chicago people who arrived at Frankfurt waiting for the train to Cologne had a bit of fun with Team Chicago Chair Kyle Chang who met us outside of customs. I'm not sure about "Chicago Flag As Bib" but it was nice to see a friendly face. Frankfurt Flughafen to Koln Hauptbahnhoff couldn't have been easier.

Welcome to Cologne, The Flying Bats of Australia

Look who we found at the Frankfurt's airport train station - four members of The Flying Bats women's soccer team from Australia eager to show their pink Aussie flag.

Photo by Kevin Boyer

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Choose your Facebook icon for Gay Games VIII!

Games Cologne has prepared a special Facebook-friendly image you can use as your profile pic for the duration of Gay Games VIII.

Find them all HERE.

Cologne public transit gearing up for Gay Games crowds

Public transit news from KVB (this is information intended for the people of Cologne, here in English via a very rough Google Translation):

Street Sports in Longerich and Mülheim

From 31 July. until 7 August, the Gay Games in Cologne. In this period a very affordable ticket for local transport service, in order to reach the various venues with ease. In the same period is a day ticket for one person / price level 5 (€ 20.90) is not only a day but three days only - for the journey by bus and train in the entire VRS area!

Additional tracks for the opening on 31 July
The "gay games cologne VIII 2010" on Saturday, 31 July, with a big celebration opened in the RheinEnergie Stadium. These 30,000 people are expected. Directly following the opening ceremony will be held at the Lanxess Arena an opening party. The KVB is one on the east-west route from 16.30 clock 64 additional vehicles to provide for the outward and return journeys, an offer available.

"Cologne Classic" on 1 August
As part of the Gay Games Cologne 2010 will take place on Sunday 1st August, and the international cycling race "Cologne Classic in Longerich instead. In the period from 6.00 to about 20.00 clock clock bus line 121 runs only in the section "Langel ferry" to "Longericher road. The stations' Lindweilerweg "," Dionysstrasse "and" Dädalusring can "in the specified period can not be served.

Half-Marathon on 7 August
A week later, on Saturday 7 August is also in the Gay Games and the fifth GAG-marathon in the right place Rhenish. Start and finish is the Wiener space in Mülheim. For local transport, it may come in the morning from 9.00 to clock short-term disabilities, this applies to the city line 3 in the Heidelberg road and for the bus lines 151-154 and 157 and 159

The kindness of strangers..

It's a familiar story for veterans of Gay Games: the discovery of the desire of denizens of our host cities to make participants and spectators of Gay Games feel welcome.

In less than 20 minutes, I was helped on two occasions by Koelners who observed my confusion (at some confusing situations), and set me straight... One even took the pain to observe the word "France" printed on my badge and addressed me in French.

Why was I confused? It turns out that U-Bahn lines 3 and 4 are currently rerouted due to track works... which is why my number 3 train kept refusing to go where I wanted it to.

Moral of the story: wear your badge with pride!

-- Marc

Opening of exhibition at German Sport and Olympic Museum

The exhibition featuring portraits of out gay and lesbian athletes, the history of the LGBT sports movement, and memorabilia from past Gay Games lent by the San Francisco Public Library is one of the highlights of Gay Games VIII. Among the personalities present at the opening of the exhibition tonight were speakers including Deputy Mayor Angela Spizig and MP Volker Beck (initiator of the legislation creating same-sex marriage in Germany); Tom Waddell Award nominees Sara Waddell Lewinstein and Brent Nicholson Earle; and Gay Games Ambassadors John Amaechi and Michelle Ferris.

Exhibition flyer HERE.

Information about the exhibition HERE.

Watch the live broadcast of Gay Games Opening Ceremony online from Cologne

On July, 31 the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 will start with a spectacular opening ceremony – and center.tv will broadcast it live. At 6:30 pm (Cologne Time) the Center.TV presentation duo of Uwe Lautenschläger and Stefan Sartorius will begin the pre-coverage from their glass-walled studio in the northern tower of RheinEnergie Stadium in Cologne. Guests will include sports men and women who will be participating in the Gay Games through August 7.

At 7:30 pm sharp the live broadcasting of the whole opening ceremony starts with the traditional entry of the 70 national teams, led by Team San Francisco, the birthplace of the Gay Games. Almost 10,000 participants will march into the stadium organized by country, state and province. Following this rousing start there will be a drummer’s show full of energy. At that point Center.TV's Uwe Lautenschläger will move to the main TV studio in the stadium where he will comment on the evening with Center.TV's Tina Stotz.

The highest ranking politician in the 30-year-long history of the Gay Games, openly gay Dr. Guido Westerwelle, vice chancellor and secretary of state of Germany and patron of the Gay Games, will declare the Games formally open. Then Australian Olympic gold medal diver Matthew Mitcham will deliver the oath to the participants. Matthew Mitcham was one of the few openly gay sportsmen at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Then the flame of the Gay Games and the International Memorial Rainbow Flag will reach the Stadium before the artistic part of the big event starts. Hundreds of musicians, performers, dancers and fire artists will deliver n impressive choreographed "Welcome to the Nations." Then the musical portion of the evening will start with performances by Swedish pop star “Agnes” with her hit “Release me…” and American diva Taylor Dayne, who will present the official anthem of Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010 “Facing a Miracle.”

Coverage will feature views from up to 9 cameras in stationery and mobile positions throughout the stadium. The complete broadcasting of the international opening ceremony can be followed via live stream at http://koeln.center.tv. For those in Germany, check your local Center.TV listings for TV broadcast and check www.games-cologne.com for any updates or additional websites.

Live broadcasting

Saturday, July, 31, 6:30 (LIVE) (Cologne Time)
US Eastern Time 12:30 pm
US Pacific time 9:30 am

Repetitions (all Cologne Time - 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Time)

Sunday, Aug, 1 12:00 pm
Sunday, Aug, 1 7:30 pm
Monday, Aug, 2 12:30 pm

Photo: Team San Francisco enters Chicago's Soldier Field during Gay Games Chicago 2006. Photo by Dmitriy Margoiln

Irish Minister for Sport supports Team Ireland

Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Ireland, has sent this letter of support to Team Ireland in anticipation of Gay Games VIII. Thanks to Frank Kelly of Out in Ireland who has led the efforts to organize Team Ireland.

Éire go Brách!

FGG Board of Directors check in

The Board of Directors of the Federation of Gay Games is made up of volunteers located on three continents. They meet monthly by teleconference, and some meet more often for various committee and task force projects, but the opportunity to meet face to face is far too rare. So prior to an official board meeting tomorrow, board members already in Cologne met up at the Pullman Hotel to share their first impressions. Those who had already been to accreditation shared their pleasure at how fast and efficiently it went.

Accreditation opens at KoelnMesse

Accreditation opened today with a rousing success. Most participants have uploaded their photo to the registration system, and for them, they quickly obtain their accreditation, valid for travel during the Gay Games, simply by signing a release form and presenting their registration confirmation. They then head upstairs at the KoelnMesse hall to get their welcome bags and water bottle. Very well done brochures for most sports are available, and many sports have volunteers present to answer any questions.

Among those at accreditation were various FGG board members, including copresidents Kurt Dahl and Emy Ritt, Cheer New York, the Team Mexico City, and Johannesburg's Chosen FEW.

Before heading out, make sure you stop at the merchandise shop, which is offering a great range of attractive products.

It is expected that accreditation will be far busier tomorrow, so please come as soon as possible.

Note that accreditation for Officials and Volunteers takes place only at the Gay Games VIII shop at Neumarkt.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Previewing the Gay Games in Cologne

Ross Forman of Chicago's Windy City Times (a Gay Games media sponsor) has written a Gay Games Cologne preview. Ross will be reporting for WCT in Cologne.

Hector Torres has a simple goal for Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany: finish among the top three in all of the sports that he participates in.

Well, he also has another goal: to have fun.

Torres, 32, has a loaded schedule—on the competitive side of his international journey, that is. He is participating in the Olympic triathlon, the 10K run, the 5K run, the 26.2-mile marathon and three cycling events ( criterium, mountain bike and time trial ) .

"I am extremely excited [ for ] the Games," said Torres, who lives in Orlando, Fla., and only ran the marathon at the 2006 Games in Chicago. "This time around, I feel stronger, fearless and driven. I have been training smart and hard for the past couple of years. I am confident enough within myself that I will have a great performance."

Torres is the head coach for Tri Peak Athlete, LLC and the Central Florida YMCA. He is one of about 9,600 registered participants from around the world heading to the quadrennial sports and cultural extravaganza ( July 31-Aug. 7 ) that is making its debut in Germany. Past Games have been held in San Francisco ( twice ) , including the first ever, in 1982, as well as Sydney, Vancouver, New York City and Amsterdam.

About 2,500 U.S. residents will join Torres in Cologne.
Read the full preview HERE.

Gay Games issues downloadable highlights flyer

Games Cologne has created a downloadable "Highlight Flyer" that lists all cultural events, tours, cruises, parties, gay villages, ceremonies and some of the ticket sporting events (like Pink Flamingo and Bodybuilding).

The flyer is in German, but as they say "When in Koln!"

Click here to download the flyer (PDF)
Photo by Allice Cooperman from Chicago 2006.

Ford Cologne supports Gay Games with vehicles and volunteers

From Cologne this week comes news that six vehicles provided by Ford have been turned over to Games Cologne drivers for use during the Games. The six cars - four Transits, a Ford Focus and a Ford Mondeo - will be used for transportation for athletes and volunteers.

Ford's support of the Gay Games extends beyond vehicles, however. Sixty five (65) employees from Ford will be working almost 160 volunteer shifts during the Gay Games as part of Ford's community-involvement initiative. And the parking lot at the Fuehlinger See, owned by Ford, will be open to the public for the swimming portion of the Triathlon that will take place on the lake.

Aussie ambassadors ready for Gay Games

From Nick Bond of Sydney Star Observer (a Gay Games media sponsor):
"GLBTI athletes from around Australia will this week head to the Cologne Gay Games, to be held in Germany from July 31 to August 7.
"Heading to Cologne with our queer contingent will be two more widely known athletes ­— Olympic diving champion Matthew Mitcham and retired Olympic cycling medalist Michelle Ferris. Both are Australian ambassadors for the Games, and will be on hand at various functions and events as part of their ambassadorial duties."
Read the full article HERE

Congratulations to Games Cologne on its registration success!

The co-presidents of the FGG, on behalf of the Board and Assembly, sent the following letter yesterday to the co-presidents of Games Cologne:

Dear Annette, Dear Michael,

It is with the greatest pleasure that we received the final registration figures for Gay Games VIII. In very difficult circumstances, and in particular due to an unprecedented economic downturn which impacted both sponsorship revenues and the ability of individuals to register, you have reached nearly 9500 paid registrations, a fabulous achievement!

This is an outstanding accomplishment for which all of you at Games Cologne deserve to be very, very proud. Thanks to a strong showing from Germany, numbers are high. But Gay Games VIII remain a thoroughly international event, with over 60 countries represented, in part thanks to our joint efforts for scholarship beneficiaries, allowing hundreds of men and women from Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia will be able to “be part of it” in Cologne.

As you enter the final days and hours before Opening Ceremony, on behalf of the Board and Assembly of the Federation, we want you to know how much we appreciate your efforts, and how much we are looking forward to sharing a week in Cologne that will once again, change the world.

Herzlichen Dank!

Emy Ritt, Kurt Dahl

More details of Opening Ceremony!

Leaping flames in a production for the stadium at the opening ceremony for the Gay Games VIII in Cologne.

Fitting perfectly into the opening ceremony of the Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010, worldwide biggest sports and cultural event with more than 10.000 participants in Cologne on July, 31 Petra Quednau of the project PQ under the direction of Maria Derfuß, owner of the Cologne agency tap act – event entertainment, developed a spectacular production with 24 fire artists. The scene for the newest pyrotechnic – accompany the show to the highlight of the opening ceremony in the RheinEnergieStadium. A colossal field to play on, to fill the crowd for the world premiere of the official hymn for the Gay Games Cologne “Facing a Miracle”, sung by Taylor Dayne (well known for “Tell it to my heart”) with enthusiasm. A fire show of this size of course is something special. For this production in a stadium you need another feeling for space than for a normal stage show, Petra Quednau, owner of the project PQ, explains. Experiences we already made in other productions will serve us well now. We will show you fire and emotion in XXL format.

Fireshows and Artists by Project PQ from Petra Quednau on Vimeo.
The goal of the Gay Games, to show each single athlete with his/her own skills and disciplines and create a mutual experience strongly inspired the project PQ for the choreography. "All of the 24 artists handle their medium "fire" very individually. Each of us performs strongly with certain props and certain moves. We take exactly these individual strong points into the choreography" explain Isabella von Gatterburg and Heidi Schink, both fire artists as well at the project PQ, the concept.

Luminale Trailer 2010 from Petra Quednau on Vimeo.

"Simultaneous course where we play the same movements with different props change with individual choreographies where everybody can show what he/she knows to do best. Both combine to a whole picture full with emotions, which will impress the crowd." A maximum of positive energy for the athletes in the RheinEnergieStadium.

Be part of it! Tickets for the opening ceremony are available at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cheer San Francisco advances on America's Got Talent

FGG Legacy Award winner Cheer SF performing as part of the top-48 acts on America's Got Talent.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Photos from Team Philadelphia send-off

Visit Nightlife Gay for more photos of this fun event!

What will it take to have an openly gay baseball player

In a thought-provoking piece in HuffingtonPost.com ("Baseball Justice"), Peter Drier suggests "five things that baseball could do to redeem itself to reflect the best of America's liberty-and-justice-for-all values." #5 is "Open the Closet"

"According to conventional wisdom, a gay teammate would threaten the macho camaraderie that involves constant butt-slapping and the close physical proximity of the locker room. So while there are no doubt homosexuals currently playing in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball, they are deep in the closet.

"Some players have come out after they retired. These include NFL players [Gay Games Ambassador] David Kopay, Roy Simmons, and [Gay Games Ambassador] Esera Tuaolo and [Gay Games Ambassador] NBA player John Amaechi. Only two gay former major league baseball players, Glenn Burke and [Gay Games Ambassador] Billy Bean, have come out of the closet. ...

"While Bean played for the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres from 1987 to 1995, he pretended to date women, furtively went to gay bars, and hid his gay lover from teammates and fans. In his published memoir, Going the Other Way, Bean recounts how Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda constantly made homophobic jokes, even as Lasorda's gay son was dying from AIDS. Bean quit when he could no longer stand living a double life. When he came out publicly in 1999, his story made front-page news in the New York Times. In his autobiography, Behind the Mask, Dave Pallone--a major league umpire who was quietly fired in 1988 after rumors about his sexual orientation circulated in the baseball world--contends that there are enough gay major league players to create an All Star team."

Read the full article HERE.

Cologne's Excorner Bar gets ready for the Gay Games

I've been to Cologne 5 times in the past few years and some of the greatest fun I've had has been at the Excorner Bar. When the Chicago 2006 team first traveled to Cologne in 2005 for an FGG Annual Meeting, Excorner's owner Dieter made sure the Chicagoans always had a glass of Kölsch in our hands ... except when he sent us shots, including one round on fire. And yes, he and his staff keep track of everyone's orders on yellow post-it notes with dozens of them stuck up around the bar all night long. I wonder if they'll be able to keep up with thousands more people in town.

Everytime I go back to Cologne I make sure to stop in at Excorner and say hello to Dieter. Excorner is kind of like a gay "Cheers" (for Americans familiar with the TV sitcom). The crowd is mostly men and a nice of mix of all types. Excorner is in Cologne's famous "Bermuda Triangle," an area of the city with several fun gay bars. It's at the top of Excorner's "corner" entrance that you'll find one of the Gay Games Cologne countdown clocks, slowly ticking down the days, hours and minutes to the Gay Games - now less than 6 days away. Excorner has been a supporter of Cologne 2010 from the very beginning.

You can tell the guys at Excorner have gotten into the Gay Games spirit. They have a great animated website, and they've got a special animated splash page up just for us. View the website, not just the photo here, for the full effect. Prost (Cheers)!

Schaafenstrasse 57 - 59 Köln
Right next to Rudolfplatz, one of the Gay Games villages

Kevin Boyer
Chicago 2006 Organizer & Cologne 2010 Participant

Cologne: Gay and lesbian journey through 700 years of art history

From the website of the Wallraf das Museum in Cologne.

During the forthcoming Gay Games Cologne 2010 (31 July till 7 August), the Wallraf will become the first museum in Germany to offer a tour of its collection highlighting the overtly or latently homosexual motifs in its paintings. Alongside Dürer’s Piper and Drummer, Bruyn’s Ecce Homo, and Boucher’s Resting Girl, the programme contains works such as the Sebastian Altar and the Legend of St Ursula.

With dedicated wall texts and two special guided tours, the Museum will present – with a wink in its eye – salacious details, amusing anecdotes and even thought-provoking aspects related to works and artists from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The aspects of gender and queer studies will be taken just as much into account as the historical, socio-critical and religious backgrounds.

A magenta dot will distinguish each of the around 20 exhibits as part of the tour. Moreover, at 4.30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday (6 and 7 August) there will be a special themed tour in English. Prior booking is not required, and the tour fee is included in the entry price. Meeting place for the tour is the museum foyer.

August 5 Special Exhibition and Performance Evening at the Wallraf
In addition, the Wallraf will also be co-hosting the exhibition “move it!” as part of the Gay Games. For this the museum will showcase the work of four contemporary artists who have worked specially round the theme “move it!”. This cameo exhibition is a satellite of the large show on view at the Altes Pfandhaus. On Thursday, 5 August, there will be a performance evening in the foyer of the Wallraf beginning at 8 p.m., featuring presentations by various artists.

Obenmarspforten (am Kölner Rathaus)
D- 50667 Köln
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 221-21119
Fax: +49 (0) 221 221-22629

Tue to Fri - 10 am to 6 pm
Thu - 10 am to 10 pm
Sat & Sun 11 am to 6 pm
Closed Mondays

To learn more about all of the special tours in Cologne, visit the Tour Page at http://www.games-cologne.de/en/static/cologne/tours.

Dancing duo prepares for the Gay Games

It’s a Sunday afternoon and a couple of men walked into Sizzling Fillo, a Filipino restaurant a stone’s throw away from Lidcombe station in Sydney, for a very late lunch.What they didn’t know was that they were just about to gatecrash an intimate party – a ‘send-off’ party if you like – for two Filipino-Australians who dare to dream big. Albert Dimarucut, a well-known Filipino dancer and choreographer, and Brian Lorenz Babon, a multi-talented artist who won a major singing competition, have set their eyes on going to the VIII Gay Games, Cologne 2010.
Competing in the ‘dance’ sports category, Albert and Brian have to be at the eight-day event to be held from July 31 to August 7. To be in the running, they had to be nominated by an association and were chosen by FLAGCOM and Friends (Filipino Lesbian and Gay Community). The catch is, they have to finance the trip themselves and, with less than a fortnight to go, are yet to secure company sponsors to help fund all their expenses. But as the saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way. One of their close friends, Armando ‘RC’ Reyes, hosted a despedida with the help of Sizzling Fillo’s owners (who gave the venue at no charge) and invited guests.
Brian said they have wanted to be part of the Games for a long time now. “It’s held every four years and we thought, we should do it – this is the year,” he said. Not that their end goal is to get the gold. Asked what they would do to differentiate themselves from their rivals, Brian smiled and said they’ll just show their best and have a good time. “We’re just going to have fun,” he said. Judging by their passion and pedigree, there’s a good chance they might just make history and become the first gay Filipino-Australians to go to the games.

Continue reading HERE.

FGG flag at Opening Ceremony

The raising of the FGG Flag will mark the start of the Gay Games VIII opening ceremony this Saturday 31 July at RheinEnergieStadion.

For Gay Games VIII we have chosen to invite our latest award winners to carry out this important duty, which marks the start of the ceremony and a fantastic week of sport and culture.

The flag bearers will be:
  • Hlengiwe Buthelezi (Durban), 2009 Volunteer of the Year
  • Ian McMahon (Cape Town), 2009 Volunteer of the Year
  • Barbara Strewinksi (Cologne), 2010 Volunteer of the Year (host)
  • Philipp Lischke (Sydney), 2010 Volunteer of the Year (host)
  • Jason Stone (Seattle); 2010 Volunteer of the Year (FGG)
  • Joseph Justin (New Jersey), 2010 Legacy Award for Outstanding Gay Games Athlete
  • Paulette Meggoe (NYC), 2010 Legacy Award for Outstanding Gay Games Athlete
  • Loren McGlade (San Francisco), 2010 Legacy Award for Outstanding Gay Games Cultural Participant
  • Connie Moore (Houston), 2010 Legacy Award for Outstanding Gay Games Cultural Participant
  • Anthony Alston (San Francisco), on behalf of Cheer SF, 2010 Legacy Award for Fundraising and Charitable Activities

Please give them a big cheer as they enter the stadium!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Team Chicago send-off party and uniform pick up

More than 125 Chicagoans are headed to Gay Games Cologne and Team Chicago held a send-off and uniform pick-up party at @mosphere in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood yesterday (Saturday 24 July).

In addition to uniform pickup and a raffle, @mosphere played the Chicago 2006 DVD on its screens throughout the bar. (The DVD is still available at www.wolfevideo.com and sales benefit the FGG.)

On hand were some of Chicago's Gay Games scholarship recipients, including two women supported by Amigas Latinas, Chicago's lesbian latina organization. Also on hand were some former organizers of Chicago 2006, and three of the four Federation of Gay Games Board members who are from Chicago: Co-President Kurt Dahl, VP of Membership Paul Oostenbrug, and Technology Officers Israel Wright. Big thanks to Charlie and the staff at @mosphere for a great time and all of the Team Chicago volunteers, especially Team Chicago President Kyle Chang, who helped make it a great event.

Safe travels to everyone on their way to Cologne for the 2010 Gay Games.

Photos by Ross Forman.