What Is the Gay Games? A Primer on the Event's History and a Peek at What's in Store in Sydney. (Gay Games VI Sydney, Australia)

The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), September 3, 2002 | Go to article overview

What Is the Gay Games? A Primer on the Event's History and a Peek at What's in Store in Sydney. (Gay Games VI Sydney, Australia)


Where did the games come from?

The Gay Games, founded by the late Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell, launched in San Francisco in 1982 and has taken place every four years since. According to the Federation of Gay Games, the purpose is "to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbians and gay men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the nongay world."

Who runs the games?

The Federation of Gay Games chooses host cities from among those where local organizers offer the greatest promise of a successful event. Once designated, a local committee raises funds and organizes the actual events.

How will Gay Games VI compare with the 2000 Sydney Olympics?

The Gay Games is shorter, running November 2-9, but will have grand opening and closing ceremonies and more than 30 sports competitions, many of them in the Sydney's Olympic park. Traditional Olympic events are included--swimming, diving, triathlon, wrestling, track and field, figure skating, and others--as well as events the Olympics overlook, such as bowling, badminton, dancing, martial arts, table tennis, and physique. Apart from about 20 "core sports," the lineup changes depending on the host city: Amsterdam included chess in 1998; Sydney has a sailing event. …

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