Chicago Games, Inc., announced it will bid to host Gay Games VII in 2006. A quadrennial athletic and cultural
event that brings together people from around the world, the Gay Games was founded in 1982 on the
principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best. The event is coveted by cities around the globe
because of the opportunity to showcase the city to GLBT tourists worldwide, infuse the local economy with
millions of dollars, and strengthen the local GLBT community's capacity and visibility.
11,000 athletic and cultural competitors participated in the most recent Gay Games held in Sydney, Australia, in
Bid documents are due Feb. 1, 2004, with a decision expected by early March, 2004.
originally bid to host the Gay Games in 2006, competing against Atlanta, Los Angeles and Montreal. The FGG
chose Montreal at its 2001 Annual Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, and spent two years trying to
negotiate a licensing agreement. Those negotiations ended in an impasse in November and the FGG
re-opened the bidding process to the cities that had originally bid for the 2006 Games. The FGG has posted
full details regarding the negotiation process at its Web site, GayGames.org . Montreal has indicated they will
hold a sports and cultural festival in 2006 also.
Chicago Games, Inc. issued a short statement: 'We are
grateful to the many members of our community—both here in Chicago and beyond—who have stepped
forward in the past two months to support our vision for the 2006 Gay Games. Organizations representing
thousands of Chicago GLBT athletes have expressed full support for our bidding effort as have athletes from
all over the world. We are also grateful to those who identified the challenges before us. We are confident that
our draft budget, marketing and implementation plans, improved by this feedback, will help ensure that our
proposal to the FGG will be even more thorough and complete, ensuring a Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 will
be exciting, fulfilling for Chicagoans and visitors alike, and financially stable. We wish our competitors in Los
Angeles the best of luck as they prepare their bid materials. We want to say to our brothers and sisters in
Montreal that we also wish them only the best as they prepare for their own event in the summer of 2006. The
worldwide GLBT sports movement is enhanced by a spirit of cooperation and we commit ourselves to a
relationship that is constructive and forward-thinking.'
Support Strong for Chicago Bid
Chicago's umbrella sports organizations have indicated strong support for the Chicago bid. The Women's
Sports Association, Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association, Team Chicago and the Windy City Athletic
Association are each already contributing volunteers and expertise to the bid effort and/or strong letters of
support. 'Chicago MSA stands proudly with you,' writes Mel Ferrand, President of Chicago MSA. The Women's
Sports Association's Board of Directors writes of 'wholehearted support and admiration.' Team Chicago
writes they will be 'enthusiastic supporters of this effort.'
Team New York, one of the world's largest
delegations to past Gay Games, has written to Chicago to indicate their support for the Gay Games, noting they
will work to expand their participation if Chicago is awarded the 2006 Gay Games. 'Chicago Games, Inc., its
sponsors and supporters, the City of Chicago, and anyone else involved in the upcoming bid preparation
process should know that Team New York is fully committed to the Gay Games movement … . Athletes and
artists from Team NY have attended all six of the previous Gay Games; in Amsterdam we fielded a team of over
350; in Sydney that number grew to almost 500. If Chicago was selected to host the next Gay Games, this trend
of continuously increasing participation would undoubtedly be extended.' Copies of letters of support are
available at ChicagoGamesInc.org .
'Should the Federation award the Gay Games to Chicago, The Mayor's
Office of Special Events and other city agencies look forward to working with Chicago Games, Inc. in executing
a successful Gay Games in 2006,' said Michael Segobiano, Director of Marketing for the City of
Community Leaders Join Chicago Games, Inc., Board of Directors
2001 Johannesburg FGG meeting, Chicago Games, Inc. has managed several Chicago-based projects
designed to enhance the mission of the Gay Games movement in the Midwest. These projects include the
financial support, with Team Chicago, of a women's soccer team from Namibia to attend a women's soccer
tournament in South Africa; support of the 2002 and 2003 Midwest GLBT Sports and Culture Festival; and
hosting the November 2003 FGG Annual Meeting.
Effective Jan. 1, 2004, several original members of the
Chicago 2006 Board of Directors have rejoined the CGI Board of Directors. Now serving on the Board of
Directors are R. Sue Connolly, Senior VP at Northern Trust Bank; John Paquet, planning executive with a local
transit agency; Christopher Pries, Vice President—Global Internal Audit at Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc.; Tracy
Baim, Publisher at Windy City Media Group; Kurt Dahl, VP at Harris Bank; Rob Hunden, Director—Hospitality
Practice at Johnson Consulting; Kevin Boyer, Managing Partner at Third Coast Marketing; Mona Noriega,
Midwest Regional Director at Lambda Legal; Renae Ogletree, Director of Youth Services, City of Chicago; and
Dennis Sneyers, Relationship Manager at Computershare Investor Services.
The Board is still in
formation and interested individuals are encouraged to e-mail
Chicago's bid is due Feb. 1,
2004, and volunteers are needed to help prepare sports, marketing and venue sections of the bid document.
Volunteers are also needed to help secure letters of support from organizations, civic and corporate leaders,
political representatives and to identify prospective donors and underwriters should Chicago's bid be
successful. Volunteers should send an e-mail with their interests and experience to
About the Gay Games
From the FGG Web site:
'The Gay Games is a quadrennial athletic and cultural event which brings together people from around the
world. Based on the principles of inclusion and participation, the Gay Games welcomes all people without
regard to their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic/
artistic ability, age, physical challenge, or health status. There are no minimum standards to qualify ... ; the only
requirement is the desire to support the ideals of the Games. When accepting the Gay Games' challenge to
reach for one's personal best in sporting, artistic, and cultural activities, all Gay Games participants become
'By creating a safe and accepting environment, the Gay Games offers participants the opportunity
to express themselves openly and to experience the camaraderie and validation of sport, culture, and art. The
experience can be a highlight in one's lifetime.
'While, individually, participants celebrate personal
achievement collectively, we experience the solidarity of community and celebrate the diversity and scope of the
gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Through the athletic and arts/cultural events of the Gay
Games, stereotypes are challenged and barriers broken down.'
Chicago Games, Inc. is a registered
501c3 nonprofit organization. Gay Games is a registered trademark of the Federation of Gay Games
Chicago Games, Inc. c/o 5443 N. Broadway, Suite 101, Chicago, IL 60640,
ChicagoGamesInc.org, or see Web site Volunteer@ChicagoGamesInc.org .