Marc Naimark first attended the Gay Games as a photographer at Gay Games V in Amsterdam. At the time, he worked as a photographer and journalist covering mainstream bodybuilding competitions in France and elsewhere for sports magazines and the leading bodybuilding website in the country. He would go on to cover each of the succeeding Gay Games bodybuilding events.
Amsterdam was his first exposure to LGBT sport, and along with a French competitor, upon returning to France, he founded Le Coq Musclé, dedicated to promoting weight training and competitive bodybuilding and powerlifting in the LGBT community.
Marc became involved with the FGG via the FGG Sports Committee, and in particular its work on the FGG Antidoping Policy. He later became chair of the Sports Inclusion and Retention subcommittee, and at the the 2007 Annual Meeting was elected to the board as Sports Officer. Marc was elected by the board to finish the term of Vice President, External Affairs, previously held by Kate Rowe in February 2011.
Marc lived in Paris and worked as a language trainer and translator until his death on 9 April 2015.
Since Marc’s involvement with the Gay Games in 1998, we have had the privilege to witness his kindness and compassion, his brilliance and genius. Thanks to his diligence and patience, FGG and the Gay Games benefited from so many of Marc’s ideas and initiatives.
To name just a few:
- Increased flexibility for the Gay Games sports component
- Reorganized the Site Selection Request for Proposal documents
- Initiated Gay Games Awards program
- Enhanced visibility of FGG and the Gay Games via the blog
- Automated communication from blog to Facebook to twitter
- Promoted the Gay Games via online publications, such as Slate.com
- Provided key support for Pride House London 2012 and the international Pride House initiative
- Collaborated with DOT.Gay. on behalf of FGG
- Provided support for the Open Games and SOCHI-related actions
- Assisted with the historic FGG meeting with the IOC President
- Established multiple contacts with external organizations
- Managed the gaygames.org website and social media sites
- Worked with Paris 2018 on several projects – translation, website, accessibility
The list could go on and on. Marc was always there, ready to help, providing support in any way possible.
Unbeknownst to us, the ever-present kindness and compassion that was Marc’s trademark masked a tortured soul, even from his loved ones.
Although his chair at the table is now empty, as our hearts are, we know that Marc has moved onwards and upwards to a better place.