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Seattle Success at Gay Games
Chicago, July 2006 – Kelly Stevens Co-Chair Team Seattle
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.
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.
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
Track event had a wonderful story worth sharing. 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 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 about
cheering were shared about a swimmer in his 80s.
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 dressed 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 than opening
ceremony, and was 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.
Team Seattle would like to thank Road Runner Sports, Country Wide
Mortgage, Pride Foundation, Gay City, and GSBA for their sponsorship
and support of Team Seattle in the Gay Games and Outgames 2006.
Team Seattle Results for
Chicago Gay Games VII
The Madison Pub Rainmakers, of which Brant, Don, Shad, Michael, Sean
and Andy are members, won the B Division gold medal. Also on our team
was Ed from Vancouver and Matt from St. Louis. After finishing 8-4 in
round robin play, they
dominated their way through the double-elimination tournament as the
#4 seed. Of 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.
Physique - This was the first Gay Games for each guy!
Michael Guerrero takes a Silver medal in Men's Novice Age-21-39
Bruce Ayres takes Silver in Heavyweight Class Men's Masters Level
Kathy McBride takes a Silver medal in 8 Ball recreational level.
Tim Koffler took GOLD in the E Division
Hank Meuret took a Bronze in the sprint relay. Tarl Oliason and Mike
Paonessa were part of a sprint relay that took Gold.
Marcella Benson-Quaziena took Bronze in Line Dance: Beginner Overall
10K Very Hot Weather!
Molly Metz took Bronze in the 30-34 Female group with 58:39
Gold Medal in Marathon - JAKE BARTHOLOMY Read his personal
story about this event on the Team Seattle web site.
1st in age group, 2nd overall Time 2:48:07
Mixed Doubles BRONZE Joe Cox and Catherine Le Cornu (Australia)
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
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
Mark Alexander Silver
Decathlon GOLD - Rusty Russell LaMar Jacquet-Acea 1st overall Gold
5000m Race Walk
Silver Richard Newman 34:10:49
5000m M40 Silver - Kelly Stevens
Track and Field Medals for Team Seattle
Seattle Frontrunners Gay Games Results
14 participants from Seattle
Total medals - 19
Gold - 6
Silver - 10
Bronze - 3
Complete Chicago Gay Games VII results here.
*** TRACK & FIELD ***
M50 Russ Lamar 13.03 - Gold
M55 Bill Etnyre 30.04 - Silver
M55 Bill Etnyre 67.22 - Gold
M55 Dean Koga 68.22 - Silver
M50 Russ Lamar 1:05.8 - Gold
M55 Dean Koga 2:42.45 - Silver
M55 Bill Etnyre 2:44.67 - Bronze
M40 Mark Alexander 4:41.61 - Silver
M55 Dean Koga 5:54.26 - Bronze
M65 Jerry Lewis 7:32.39 - Silver
M40 Kelly Stevens 20:38.9 - Silver
5000m race walk
M50 Richard Newman 34:10.39 - Silver
M50 Russ Lamar 3.40m - Gold
Russ Lamar (for Team San Francisco) NT - Silver
M50 Woody Deitrich 22.15 - Silver
M55 Rene Valdes 14.4 - Silver
M50 Russ Lamar 6253 - Gold
(Pole vault PR 3.50m during decathlon)
*** ROAD RACES ***
M30 Jake Bartholomy 2:48:07 - Gold
M40 Kelly Stevens 44:36 - 10th
M40 Tim Murphy 48:20 - 17th
*** TRIATHLON ***
M40 Hank Meuret 1:20:21 - Bronze
M40 Phil Brennan 1:23:28 - 5th
M18 Chris Bresemann 2:27:26 - 6th
Games web results:
Montreal, July-August 2006 –
Kelly Stevens Co-Chair Team Seattle
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. he 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’d 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
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.
Montreal 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 half- 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.
The closing ceremony in Montreal was not quite as exciting as the
opening, but it was a great way to finish the week with the rest of
the Team. It also had few attendees in the stadium due to
Montreal Diversity week events in the Village.
It ended a fantastic week at a very LGBT affirming city.
Montreal is an excellent choice for LGBT travelers and also for the
Outgames athletes in the future.
Seattle would like to thank Road Runner Sports, Country Wide Mortgage,
Pride Foundation, Gay City, and GSBA for their sponsorship and support
of Team Seattle in the Gay Games and Outgames 2006.
Other Outgames Montreal Results
Triathlon Olympic Distance
Gold – Betsy Brace age
50-54 and 94th overall 3:04:43
Silver - Jake Bartholomy age 30-34 and 3rd overall
Silver -Chris Breseman in age 25-29 and 13th overall
Bronze – Andy McKim age 50-54 66th overall 2:46:01
Triathlon Sprint Distance
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
Silver - Rob Reynolds
Gold - Curt Johnson 57:11.9 age 60-64 men
Bronze - Phil Brennan 40-44 age and 6th overall 37:18.4
Other folks from Seattle won Gold medals in Bridge. Yes, Outgames also
had bridge competition.
We also had medals in Country Line dance in Montreal.