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.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More on men's synchronized swimming

In Grantland, Michael Bertin looks at the issue of men's synchronized swimming, including the FGG/London/Paris letter to IOC and FINA:

It was a joke: Martin Short and Harry Shearer were two male synchronized swimmers who had given up everything in their quest for Olympic gold.

It was made all the more ridiculous by the fact that (a) Martin Short couldn't swim and (b) there was no men's event even in the Olympics. And the premise for this Saturday Night Live sketch was so well executed that, almost 30 years later, few people have even bothered to revisit the subject.

But 30 years later men's synchronized swimming is also no longer a joke, which is to say there are men who do it, and they take it seriously. Honest. And, in a bizarre instance of art imitating future life, they want to go to the Olympics.

In June of this year, Paris Aquatique, the London-based club Out to Swim, and the Federation of Gay Games sent a jointly signed letter to ICO President Jacques Rogge and FINA President Julio Maglione appealing for inclusion of men in synchronized swimming at the Olympics. And they are completely not kidding.

From the letter: "[It's] a sport with a long history of men's participation, and which is growing in number and quality of participants. Despite the goals announced by British Olympic authorities to make the 2012 Summer Olympics a place for true equality, men will remain excluded from this discipline in London."

"Growing" is a relative term, and, admittedly, the talent pool isn't that deep. Stephen Adshead, who manages the men's synchro team at OTS, says there are "about 20" men in the U.K. practicing at the club, with "more in France." Moreover, it might seem a little disingenuous for OTS to argue on history, as the club has only been doing synchro since 2010, but when it comes to competing they aren't kidding around. They've got a former Soviet-bloc synchronized swimmer for their coach and have picked up gold medals at the last two EuroGames as well as gold at the last Gay Games.

And the sport's male reach is reasonably international, with competing teams in Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Sweden. There is actually a pretty great documentary called Men Who Swim about that very cadre of men in Stockholm who have taken up synchro (highlighted by a scene in which their female coach calls them "pussies" for opting to perform in wetsuits).

Read more about male synchronized swimming on Grantland

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