"Passing The Torch" Post 38 of 40

03 Sep 2022 11:19 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

Gay Games I: Swimming, Physique, and the Choral Event


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 37 of 40 - 3 September - Gay Games I: Swimming, Physique, and the Choral Event

“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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Gay Games I swimmers celebrating

CHRIS VAN SCOYK: The swim competition was well organized and hugely popular with those who attended. As I remember, when we received our medals, someone blew bubbles as recognition of our achievement. It didn’t matter if we got gold, silver, or bronze, or no medal at all. Everyone who competed was treated as a hero.

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Mauro Bordovsky on the left in the above photo

MAURO BORDOVSKY: The swim tournament was amazing. The fact that we had preliminary then final races resembled the Olympic Games. That, too, contributed to my feeling like an Olympic athlete. I also really liked the support that swimmers and spectators alike gave to all participants, especially to those who finished their race last. The participation medal honored all participants and the medal ceremonies were legitimized our being Olympic athletes.

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Charlie Carson in the pool at Gay Games I

CHARLIE CARSON: Billboards advertise Donald O’Connor in town with a pre-Broadway tour of Showboat. The Gay Softball World Series is part of the Games with the final tomorrow. It’s sunny and I spend time walking around the Castro, hanging out at Hibernia Beach. Go into record store but don’t buy – hear Shakatak’s Night Birds, Alan Parsons’ Time, The Spinners’ Games People Play, Laura Branigan’s Gloria, Eddy Grant’s California Style. Go downtown and run into several of New York’s Front Runners, including Marty King who was second in his age group in the marathon.


West Coast Gay Choral Festival held during Gay Games I

Attend the West Coast Gay Choral Festival dinner and show at California Hall and catered by Hal Herkenhoff, who gives me his business card to stay in contact after the Games. Sit with two members of New York’s Stonewall Chorale (a female/male chorus), in town as site-seers. Talk to Jeff and Frank of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, also site-seeing here and not sure their group will make it to New York for COAST. Very funny Carol Roberts entertains with her routine about being a foodaholic.

There’s a full moon tonight while heading to the I-Beam with Jeff and Frank. Take pictures inside and meet Glenn White of Australia, a track sprinter who finished fourth in the 100 meters and who will pass through New York with his mates on their way home. Order black and white photo prints of swimming and diving from Colston Young. Music of the night: Cat People, Outlaw, Deetour, Calling All Boys, Love is in Control, Do You Wanna Funk, Do I Do, Jump Shout, Situation, P.A.S.S.I.O.N., Stormy Weather, Right on Target, Babe We’re Gonna Love Tonight. Dance on stage. Head to Trocadero Transfer with J.P., his friend Alex, Allison, Charlotte from Tucson. We’re too late to see The Flirts perform, but we enjoy the beer and dancing.

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The Gay Games I Physique event at the historic Castro Theater

KEN WARD: The San Francisco Marching Band got to play for the Physique / Body Building competition at the Castro Theater a few days later. Foster-Hayden had the crazy idea to write an arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner with jazz chords: Star Spangled Banner a la Charley Parker/ Dizzy Gillespie! I thought it would be cool, but it was just weird, and there was dead silence after we played it. I don't think the Foster-Hayden person knew anything about jazz progressions.

But I was having a hard time concentrating on the music at the body builders' event, anyway. Could that have anything to do with my level of stimulation and distraction regarding the body builders' bodies?

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

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