Friday
August 11, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 32
 
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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

 

 



 
Team Seattle enjoys great success at Gay Games and Outgames
Team Seattle enjoys great success at Gay Games and Outgames
by Kelly Stevens - Co-Chair - Team Seattle

Chicago, July 2006 - It was a memorable week for Team Seattle athletes at both Gay Games VII Chicago, and a week later the first Outgames in Montreal. Chicago had wonderful celebrations all week long, day and night, beginning with the opening ceremony at Soldier Field. The mayor of Chicago, Richard Dailey drew a rousing standing ovation as he passionately spoke of diversity and Gay and Lesbian rights. It was heart warming to hear a mayor speak boldly and freely in support of LGBT athletes.

This same warmth was spread around the city of Chicago. Stores, restaurants and bars all over Chicago had rainbow flags and signs welcoming athletes. This was not just in "Boystown" and "Andersonville", but all over the city. The city put up huge Gay Games VII signs on every single bus and every single bus stop in the city a month leading up to the Gay Games. Friends in Chicago called in the weeks prior to the Gay Games to tell us "Chicago has already gone Gay Games" Large banners for Gay Games were place at all official sites and hotels. Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) created souvenir metro passes with the Gay Games VII logo on the card good for free transit anywhere in Chicago for the entire games free. All of this visibility was important and helped sell tickets to local spectators.

Seattle has athletes at all levels and ages, and many won gold, silver and bronze, but everyone was awarded a participation medal. One Seattle woman broke a world record in the masters women's 50m swimming competition. You can see all the results from the Team Seattle web site (www.teamseattle.org). The competition is at all levels and welcoming to everyone. Gay Games motto is "Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best" and you could see it in action in Chicago. With each competition you also receive warm support from your competitors. You see hugs and cheers at everyone's abilities and it is what makes the Gay Games especially wonderful.

Friday's Track event had a wonderful story. Two days of track and field events were combined into one day Friday due to rain, so the track stadium had many athletes waiting to run. The 200m event was held and during the heat for men in their 70's, only 1 man was running. It seemed sad to have him running alone, but after the gun went off and he took off running, something special happened. The entire stadium and athletes stopped talking, turned and started cheering. It was amazing. As he ran closer to his finish, the entire place was standing and cheering him. This was wonderful.

Another wonderful story shared from Gay Games was regarding a portly gentleman that entered the ice skating dance competition. He was not a young, thin skater. He was dressed very sharp and began his routine. He did no complicated technical moves, but was graceful and amazing in the entire routine. The entire crowd stood in ovation for him as he completed his routine. Similar stories were shared about a swimmer in his 80s.

The entire week was filled with events beyond the sporting competition. An official guide book for Gay Games Chicago was detailed with receptions, films, galleries, and plays that were all tailored for the Gay Games week. Chicago held their Pride Festival in June as scheduled, and started an even bigger one with Gay Games VII. The weather was extremely hot and humid, especially for folks from Seattle. Chicago doubled the volunteer effort and provided water and Gatorade free to keep people from getting heat stroke. They also announced reminders constantly telling people to keep hydrated. The heat wave ended Wednesday and the rest of the week was much cooler. Closing ceremony was Saturday July 29, with Cyndi Lauper dresses in a sheer rainbow dress in the image of the statue of liberty with a rainbow torch. The crowd loved it. Closing ceremony was more entertaining and less filled with speeches, and well received.

The deputy mayor of Cologne Germany accepted the Federation of Gay Games flag from the mayor of Chicago in a solemn moment. The next Gay Games is 2010 in Cologne Germany. It was very touching. The deputy mayor of Cologne assured the crowd that Cologne has the best sports facilities in Germany and they host the biggest Gay Pride in Europe every year. The point being, if you had fun in Chicago, you will have even more fun in Cologne.

The total attendance reported was 11,500, only 500 short of a 12,000 goal. This was actually very good, considering many folks would be choosing Montreal which held their event 1 week after Gay Games. Chicago Gay Games reported after the closing, that ticket sales were higher than projected and they expect to see a profit from this Gay Games. Previous Gay Games in Sydney, Amsterdam and New York had gone in to red ink, so Chicago kept a strict budget. Team Seattle reports approximately 220 athletes attending Gay Games and 120 athletes attending Montreal Outgames. Gay Games VI in Sydney 2002 had approximately 120 Team Seattle athletes.

The Madison Pub Rainmakers, of which Brant, Donn, and Shad are members, won the BB Division gold medal. After finishing 8-4 in round robin play, they dominated their way through the double-elimination tournament as the #4 seed. Off all the Seattle athletes at the Games, the Rainmakers participated in one of the most international of all the competitions, facing teams from Mexico, France, Chile, Cost Rica, and New Zealand.

Our Orca Swim Team took home over 25 medals. The men took home medals when they partnered with our fantastic women swimmers in relays. This strategy works well when you have great men swimmers and suburb women swimmers in the relay team.

We also had some world champion type folks swimming at the Gay Games in Chicago. Lisa Dahl is superb in the sprint distance swimming. She took 5 gold medals in individual competition and silver in a mixed relay. She also broke 5 Gay Games records and 1 U.S. Masters National Record in the 100 IM. Seattle other women that were remarkable in their events. Adele Botha is one of the youngest members, but she took several gold and silver medals. Heidi Hansen and Kathleen Morris also took personal medals. Even a straight woman can compete and win in Gay Games! The games are open to all, and yes straight folks love the Gay Games. Seattle Orca Swim Team men and women that won in relays were George Gonzalez, Robby Davis, Kathleen Morris, and Adel Botha in the Mixed Men & Women 400 SC Meter Freestyle Relay. Another relay, Mixed 120-159 200 SC Meter Freestyle Relay gave silver to Lisa Dahl, Nick Klem, Matt Lind, Adele Botha took the silver medal. Proof 2 women can help 2 guys get a medal at the Gay Games! In the Mixed 120-159 200 SC Meter Medley Relay, Matt Lind, Nick Clem, Lisa Dahl, Adele Botha took another silver medal.

Two Seattle competitors in Physique took SILVER medals in their categories. This was the first Gay Games for each guy.

Seattle Frontrunners sent only a handful of track folks to Chicago this time, but they brought back plenty of medals. Seattle Frontrunners also had winners in the 10K, Triathlon and Marathon. Track and Field Medals for Team Seattle - Seattle Frontrunners: Bill Etnyre, Gold in 400m, Silver in 200m, Bronze in 800m; Dean Koga, 400m Silver, 800m Silver, 1500m Bronze; Jerry Lewis, Silver in 1500m; and Mark Alexander Silver in 1500m.



OTHER GAY GAMES RESULTS

Dance Sport: Marcella Benson-Quaziena took Bronze in "Line Dance: Beginner Overall."

Triathlon: Hank Meuret took a Bronze in the sprint relay. Tarl Oliason and Mike Paonessa were part of a sprint relay that took Gold.

10K: Very Hot Weather! Molly Metz took Bronze in the 30-34 Female group with 58:39.

Marathon: Jake Bartholomy, Gold Medal. Read his story about this event on the Team Seattle web site. 1st in age group, 2nd overall. Time 2:48:07.

Bowling: Mixed Doubles, Bronze. Joe Cox and Catherine Le Cornu (Australia).

Darts: Gary AKA K-O Keopanya and Elie Henry took Silver in Competitive Pairs. Gary AKA K-O Keopanya took Gold in Singles Competitive Darts. Gary AKA K-O Keopanya took Gold in Competitive Cricket Singles

Decathlon: Rusty Russell LaMar Jacquet-Acea 1st overall

Gold.

M50 5000m Race Walk: Richard Newman, Silver, 34:10:49.

5000m M40: Kelly Stevens, Silver, 20:38.



OUTGAMES

Montreal, July-August 2006 - Expectations for the first Outgames in Montreal were very high. Never before had a government offered so much financial support for a LGBT event. In the United States we speak of red states and blue states. Montreal is a dark blue city, in a dark blue province. Montreal does not just tolerate diversity, they celebrate it. Montreal had welcoming signs on the floors and wall of the airport for Outgames participants. The opening ceremony was on July 29 was remarkable. The event was held at the 1976 Olympic stadium in Montreal and the light show, cameras, and large screens were very impressive. The athletes marched in to cheers and music with a darkened floor where we marched in the large floor area circling around for all of the audience. The speeches were a bit long and a bit too French, for most of the athletes, but the folks in the seats were from Montreal and prefer French to English. The Canadian audience jeered and boo's as a representative of the Prime Minister tried to speak. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was invited, but refused. The mayor of Montreal finally admonished the crowd that we were diverse enough to listen to the representative. He spoke this in French, but it was clear enough that even the English speaking folks understood his message. The sound system can never be very good in a stadium so large, but every loved Martha Walsh and Katie Lang's performances. Other Canadian stars gave great performances. The feeling was exciting and everyone was in great spirits for the Outgames to begin.

The week of competition began and the sports facilities from the 1976 Olympics were used in many venues, and were wonderful. Seattle competed in Soccer, Swimming, and Track and Field, Dance, Bridge, 10K, 5K, Marathon, cross country running, Triathlon, and Marathon. The Outgames had 27 percent of the athletes coming from Europe, 19 percent from the U.S. and 39 percent from Canada, and 15 percent from other. It had more European athletes than Gay Games. Many did not want to travel to the U.S. due to the war in Iraq or they felt Montreal was a better place for LGBT travelers.

Montreal as a city is amazing and for tourists it is a great vacation location, especially for LGBT folks. The Village is the Gay area, and it is huge, and well structured with endless restaurants and some of the largest "complex" type bars in the world. They have a bar called Sky Complex that is 4 stories and has a swimming pool and hot tub on the roof!

Montreal also setup Viger Square with a nice stage for live performances every night and a central place for early evening gatherings. They setup large screen televisions in several locations of the city including Viger Square and St. Catherine Street in the Village to play endless video of previous day's sports events, announcements and awards ceremonies. It was very impressive and one could clearly see the money the government of Quebec, Canada, and Montreal were willing to spend to create a wonderful first Outgames. Each sports village area was setup with information booths and souvenirs stands.

The overall organization of sporting competition was really wonderful. Few scheduling problems occurred, even with the rainy weather. The heat and humidity were as bad as Chicago, but the athletes all prevailed. Montreal had drinks for sale at all of the venues. Having multiple sports in each area allowed athletes to watch other competition. Montreal is well organized for sports.

They shut down the city streets for the Marathon route on Saturday August 5. It was the Olympic route and finished at the Olympic stadium. The amazing thing was they did all this for only 92 marathon racers. The participation was low due to expected heat, however the heat wave broke on Friday and the weather was 70 and low humidity for the race. It was still impressive for the city to use 250 police and 500 volunteers to keep the route safe. The 2nd half of the route had 250 _ marathon folks and the last 10K had another 260 10K racers as they merged all the races into the same route to the stadium.

Seattle Frontrunners (SFR) were the dominant group in Track and Field and also the majority of athletes from Seattle. SFR is very well organized and plans events and training early. The coach Len Tritsch is 81 and has been coaching track for over 40 years. He is also still an athlete and competes and wins. The Seattle Frontrunner Track Team decided to attend Outgames long ago and prepared diligently for competition. Seattle Frontrunners took home over 120 medals, with 80 in Gold, and the rest split with Silver and Bronze medals. The track field was full of Seattle uniforms every day, dominating the competition at all age groups. They did the same thing in Sydney for Gay Games VI in 2002. Seattle Frontrunners dominated the competition in all age groups.

Other folks from Seattle won Gold medals in Bridge. Yes, Outgames also has bridge competition. We also had medals in Country Line dance in Montreal.



OTHER OUTGAMES RESULTS

Triathlon Olympic Distance Seattle Medalists: Gold - Betsy Brace age 50-54 and 94th overall 3:04:43; Silver - Jake Bartholomy age 30-34 and 3rd overall 2:16:01; Silver -Chris Breseman in age 25-29 and 13th overall 2:25:26; Bronze - Andy McKim age 50-54 66th overall 2:46:01.

Triathlon Sprint Distance Seattle Medalists: Gold - Valerie Richie age 50-54 14th overall 1:17:55; Marian Quarrier 4th age 45-49 65th overall 1:31:23.

Sprint Relay Seattle Medalists: Silver - Rob Reynolds

10K: Gold - Curt Johnson 57:11.9 age 60-64 men; Bronze - Phil Brennan 40-44 age and 6th overall 37:18.4.

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