"Passing The Torch" Post 8 of 40

04 Aug 2022 11:52 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

40th Anniversary History Series



Produced and curated by Federation of Gay Games Archivist Doug Litwin and FGG Honourary Life Member Shamey Cramer
with Ankush Gupta, FGG Officer of Communications

Read the entire "Passing The Torch" series as it is posted daily HERE.

Post 8 of 40 - 4 August - Gay Games III

4 - 11 August, 1990; 8,800 participants; Vancouver, BC Canada

“Passing The Torch: Ruby Anniversary Edition” is a factual timeline of the major events that have been part of the Gay Games evolution since its inception. The series will run from 28 July 2022 - one month before the 40th anniversary of the original Opening Ceremony at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium - through 5 September, the anniversary of Gay Games I Closing Ceremony. All postings will remain online and available for viewing at the FGG website.

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Doug Litwin and the Festival Band on stage at the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver

DOUG LITWIN: Gay Games III was the most amazing week of my life. We OWNED that city. Everywhere you went in town there was visible evidence of the Gay Games. I was happily super busy that week, participating in multiple band events, the bowling tournament, and the racquetball tournament where I won my first medals (a gold and a silver). I enjoyed all of this with my loving partner and the week was pure magic. I also attended the annual meetings of the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America, representing my Band and getting elected to their Board for the first time (I served 20 years on that Board, including 4 years as President).

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Gay Games III Opening Ceremony, BC Place, Vancouver. Photo: Erik Graff

JESSICA WADDELL-LEWINSTEIN: My first memory of the Games was in Vancouver, on stage as a child with my mom before I ran off for hugs from people I recognized in the front row.

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JAMES HAHN: Gay Games III in Vancouver was the toughest bowling competition, before or since. This was the first games held outside the United States. It was also the first games to use a five-game set instead of the usual three, and scores were cumulative. The qualifying rounds consisted of 15 games instead of the usual 9. It was very tough and not only did you have to be good, you had to be consistently good The gold medal in men's singles went to good friend Kevin Schwabe from San Francisco who averaged better than 215 over what seemed like a zillion games.

That Gay Games the Canadian Comedienne, Robin Tyler, who told two jokes during the Closing Ceremony that I remember to this day., one being “Do you know what drag is? It's when a gay man wears everything a lesbian won’t.”

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Brent Nicholson Earle at Gay Games III Opening Ceremony

BRENT NICHOLSON EARLE: Gay Games III : Vancouver 1990 was the first time the Gay Games were going to be taking place outside of San Francisco. I thought we should have our own torch run, but a torch wasn’t the right symbol, because we had been sued by the United States Olympic Committee over our original name: The Gay Olympic Games. The idea came to me to create a relay in which we would pass the rainbow flag. It was six months out to the games: not enough time to organize a flag relay, so I decided to just do it myself.

The plan was to do it like we had done the run around America. This was only a 1,000 mile chunk. I remember calling my Mom and asking if she would you like to go out again. Her answer was, “Of course.” We gave ourselves eight weeks to carry it into the Opening Ceremony.

The morning I ran into Vancouver, a couple hundred runners from the Gay Games from all over the world joined me. We finished at the BC Place Stadium. I ran by myself with the flag into the stadium. My Mom and my two Road Managers, Terrah Keene and Skylar Fein were on the stage waiting for me.

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Wrestlers WithOut Borders logo

GENE DERMODY: Another milestone was achieved in Vancouver 1990 Gay Games when the wrestlers met to create what would become Wrestlers WithOut Borders (WWB) to be international, facilitate the creation of LGBTQ+ clubs, and operate within the FGG as the wrestling representative. WWB was then positioned to push strongly for the "Red Book" project within the FGG directly.  

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RICK PETERSON: Near the conclusion of Gay Games III, Rick Peterson and Peg Gray had the exciting duty to announce the news about where Gay Games IV would be taking place. HERE is an article about that event. To see an even more exciting video of the announcement of the host for Gay Games IV in 1994, click HERE.

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Read the entire "Passing The Torch" series as it is posted daily HERE.

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