Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



Gay Games VII: A Look Back
by Ross Forman

This article shared 4893 times since Wed Aug 2, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Pictured Gay Games VII basketball pics by Rita Skarbek and Ron Favors


They came to Chicago from around the world, about 11,500 mostly gay and lesbian athletes, for 30 sports in Gay Games VII, held July 15-22. There were celebrity athletes, such as Esera Tuaolo, Billy Bean, Bruce Hayes and Tyler Duckworth. However, it was mostly the average Joe and the average Jen—as in Jen Cham, a lesbian ice hockey player from Vancouver, B.C., who played on two teams. 'This was my first Gay Games, but definitely will not be the last. It was a truly amazing experience,' she said.

The Games brought together athletes from 70 countries. More than 750 media credentials were issued for the festivities that ranged from flag football and basketball to figure skating and water polo. There also were band, choral and cheer performances, plus parties galore.

'One of the best parts of athe experience was hosting friends from Montreal who had never been to Chicago before,' said Andy Rogers of the Chicago Blackwolves ice hockey team that captured a bronze medal. 'Showing them the city, going out on the town [ and ] just talking and learning their perspective on things was great.'

The Opening Ceremony was held in sweltering heat and humidity at Soldier Field, while the Closing Ceremony was held at Wrigley Field, highlighted by a chilling rendition of 'True Colors' by Cyndi Lauper.

'The most memorable experience to me was winning the gold medal in men's ice hockey in three consecutive Gay Games, the others being Amsterdam in 1998 and Sydney in 2002,' said Brian Cordeiro of the Boston Lobsters. 'The most exciting thing about the Gay Games isn't just competing in a sport, but the idea of being part of something special in the LGBT community and the chance to meet interesting people and make new friends with athletes from all over the world.'

Cham's Chicago appearance is actually due to Hurricane Katrina, believe it or not. A friend of hers went to New Orleans last September to assist with the hurricane's aftermath. 'After she returned and reported on the urgent need for volunteer medical help, I contacted the American Red Cross and arranged to go down as a registered nurse to assist with the care of evacuees in Louisiana,' Cham said. 'I was scheduled to leave Oct. 5. However, on Oct. 4, the Red Cross informed me that conditions were such that they no longer needed me. I was left with an unused ticket to Louisiana.

'Prior to this, a friend of mine had asked if I wanted to go to the Gay Games in Chicago with the Vancouver Northern Lights [ team ] . I originally declined, since my tuition as a naturopathic medical student is very high. But then I had an idea: I could switch my unused [ New Orleans ] ticket to a flight to Chicago.'

The next daunting task Cham faced was to figure out how to raise the rest of the funds necessary to compete for a week on a student budget. Enter Team Vancouver.

'They provided a bursary, making it possible for me to actually register to play hockey,' she said. 'Without them, I suppose I'd have been sitting in the stands with my stick and skates, yelling support and pretending to shoot imaginary pucks into our opponents' nets. So I ended up getting there AND being able to play!

Among Cham's high points were taking part in the Opening Ceremony and receiving a medal. 'The Opening Ceremony was definitely a highlight. It was incredible to march into Soldier Field along with thousands of other athletes competing in every imaginable event, meet people from all over the globe and begin friendships that will last a lifetime. Another huge highlight was receiving our silver medals and holding our flag as the sole Canadian hockey team after a week of hard-fought games.'

Cham scored several goals in the Games and competed in the recreational and competitive divisions.

'I feel that as a community, we were an extremely positive influence during our visit to Chicago,' she said. 'People stopped us on the street, chatted about sports and generally seemed pleased to be involved in hosting such a great event. I am thankful to the city of Chicago for hosting the Gay Games and to all the amazing people I met this week for contributing to an experience I will never forget.'

When it comes to on-ice contributions, no one was as valuable as Cordeiro, a center for the Boston Lobsters, gold-medal winners in the men's recreation division. In one game, for instance, he scored five goals and chipped in two assists.

'Overall, I was impressed with the City of Chicago. I feel that it was the perfect choice to host Gay Games VII,' said Cordeiro, making his third Games' appearance. 'The city was clean, the restaurants were amazing and the nightclubs were large enough to accommodate athletes from around the world.'

Andy Rogers was playing for the Chicago Blackwolves ice hockey team in his second Games—and he left the seven-day event with a bronze medal and lifelong memories.

'I had a great time at the Games,' he said. 'We played some great team hockey, and worked hard to get into a medal round. It was exciting to have won [ the bronze-medal game ] after getting the tying goal, going scoreless through the overtime and finally winning in the shootout. Pure drama!

'Of course, bonding with my own team at Opening Ceremonies and throughout the Games was enjoyable. Winning the bronze was just icing on the cake. This was an experience we'll never forget.'

The Games certainly won't be forgotten by hockey goalie Kathy Seaman or her family—seven of whom played on the same team. No wonder they actually took their Christmas 2006 photo in Chicago.

The Integrated Water Systems ice hockey team, nicknamed the Left Wings, featured Seaman's family. Here's the scoop:

— Seaman is the goalie and she married Jen Putney.

— Seaman has three kids who played on the team: Rebekah, Bobby and Mary.

— Jen's brother, Ted, played, along with his wife, Rebecca.

The team hails from Wolfeboro, N.H., a city of about 8,000, and advanced to the gold-medal game in the men's recreation division, but lost to the Boston Lobsters.


Kevin Boyer spent countless hours and, no doubt, many sleepless nights preparing for the Games—and I'm not even talking about his on-field softball play. He was, of course, the main spokesman for the Games, so it is only fitting he has the final say on a few subjects:

Would Chicago consider applying for 2014 Games, so the committee had a full four years to prepare? 'No,' Boyer replied. 'The Gay Games should move around to different cities and continents. We're looking forward to 2010 in Cologne and 2014 in another great city.'

What was your most memorable moment from GGVII? 'Listening as the entire [ Wrigley Field ] crowd went nearly silent for Cyndi Lauper's [ performance of 'True Colors' ] was probably the most memorable moment of the Games. That and the excitement as our team won gold in softball.'

Any surprises? 'Yes. It was much harder work the 'week of' than I think we anticipated. Long, long hours put in by board, staff and volunteers.'

Finally, what was the worldwide mainstream media coverage for GGVII like? 'Our clipping services tell us that we had more than 100 million audience impressions from television, radio and print articles around the world. Just today I've seen clippings from mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Spain, for example,' he said.

This article shared 4893 times since Wed Aug 2, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Mango Pickle, play about gay movie stars and more
—Mango Pickle: I've written about this Edgewater restaurant before—and, fortunately, the unique quality of the Indian menu items remains. I was fortunate enough to recently experience the 21 Days of ...

Gay News

Fashion designer Thierry Mugler dies at 73
Openly gay French fashion designer Thierry Mugler (full name: Manfred Thierry Mugler) has passed away at age 73, according to media reports. Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B are among those who have worn his designs. ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The Gay Agenda,' Elliot Page, actress dies, sports items, Rock Hudson
Netflix has launched The Gay Agenda, a podcast that looks at the lives of LGBTQ creatives at the top of their fields across different industries, NBC News noted. The goal, the streaming service said, is to ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans deaths, N.J. official, political items, 'Queer Eye'
The murders of two Black transgender women in the early days of the new year struck an ominous tone in the wake of two of the deadliest years on record for transgender Americans, Gay City News ...

Gay News

Chile president-elect names LGBTQ+ people to his Cabinet
Chilean President-elect Gabriel Boric—who won a runoff election on Dec. 21, 2021—named two openly LGBTQ+ people to his Cabinet on Jan. 21, the Los Angeles Blade reported. Marco Antonio Avila, a gay man, will be the ...

Gay News

Bulls, Blackhawks fall short; 'Hawks reschedule games
In NBA action, the Chicago Bulls (28-16) fell short against the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks (29-19), losing 94-90 in Wisconsin on Jan. 21. Bulls coach Billy Donovan was livid after the game. He was upset about Bucks ...

Gay News

Former Iowa Mr. Leather and computer programmer Ken Ballard dies at 43
Former Iowa Mr. Leather, computer programmer and gay Chicagoan Ken Meverick Ballard died Jan. 11 in his Lake View home at the age of 43. The cause of death is currently unknown. Ballard was born July ...

Gay News

Nominations announced for 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards
-- From a press release - New York, NY - Wed., Jan. 19, 2022 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. RuPaul's Drag ...

Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...

Gay News

Nat'l Black Justice Coalition celebrates openly LGBTQ+/SGL NAACP Image Award nominees
-- From a press release - The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates the historic number of openly Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) nominees for the NAACP Image Awards. The Image ...

Gay News

French gay and bisexual men can donate blood starting March 16
Starting in March, gay and bisexual French men will no longer be restricted from donating blood, The Hill reported. "We are ending an inequality that was no longer justified," French Minister for Solidarity and Health Olivier ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth Led Study on Youth and Young Adult COVID-19 Vaccination Finds Surprising Results
—From a news release - BOULDER, CO - Out Boulder County in partnership with El Centro AMISTAD and Unwoven Ventures with the leadership of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth created ...

Gay News

Clay Aiken announces another political run
Former American Idol star Clay Aiken announced he's running for Congress in North Carolina, seeking the Democratic nomination in the 6th District, reported. In a video posted online, the openly gay father reintroduces himself, saying, ...

Gay News

WORLD German official, museum items, cake case
WORLD COMPILED BY WCT STAFF In Senegal, lawmakers stopped from passing to parliamentary vote a draft bill that sought to toughen already severe laws against same-sex relations, Openly News reported. Gay sex is punishable by up ...

Gay News

Bulls extend win streak to nine games on fourth Pride Night
The Chicago Bulls now have their longest win streak since 2011. The team (26-10) beat the Washington Wizards 130-122 at the United Center on Jan. 7 to extend their win streak to nine games. Zach LaVine ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.