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"Passing The Torch" Post 39 of 40

04 Sep 2022 09:55 | Douglas Litwin (Administrator)

Gay Games I: Volleyball and Cycling

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 39 of 40 - 4 September - Gay Games I: Volleyball and Cycling

“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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Los Angeles Volleyball team at Gay Games I

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JACK GONZALES: The volleyball tournament started the day after the Opening Ceremony. All participants were provided with information as to where we played, what time we played, and how to get there. The facilities were all set and ready for us as we arrived. The tournament was well run. Nothing but compliments from me.

There were no rankings, yet I believe LA was the team to beat. We played well throughout the week. It was the finals that finally ended our run. We were upset by a very good Seattle team. Gold would have been perfect, but Silver was good enough, considering how tough it was to get to the finals. I am not one to dive into a depression over losing, but it was a tiny bit sad.

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Gay Games I cyclist celebrating at the Closing Ceremony

JEAN TRETTER: Besides all my administrative duties, which included founding Team Minnesota, helping Tom Waddell and Mark Brown creating the Sports Governing Rules & Regulations handbook and launching the International Gay Olympic Association, I entered the Gay Games I cycling event. Training on the flat prairie terrain of Minnesota didn’t quite prepare me for the hilly terrain of San Francisco. I also hadn’t had a chance to practice on the course, but didn’t expect to be among the top finishers. Somewhere along the way, after the race got under way, I somehow got turned around.

When I finally saw the finish line, I was a bit perplexed to see all the spectators lined up on the opposite side of the finish. As it turned out, when I got turned around, I ended up doing the course in reverse, crossing the finish line from the wrong direction! But that didn’t matter to the spectators and fellow competitors; I still received a massive cheer from those in attendance. I was there and participating in a sport as an openly gay man, and that was more important than capturing any medal.

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The West Coast Gay Choral Festival at Nourse Auditorium

CHARLIE CARSON: Slept in but get up for lunch. Head downtown to Nourse Auditorium for the West Coast Gay Choral Festival, arriving halfway through the set by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Sit with swimmers Mauro and Dana. Impressed by Portland (The Rose is lovely.) and San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (When I Heardst the Close of Day brings tears). I have a lot of thoughts.

The choruses are a relatively new phenomenon themselves and joining the NYCGMC has changed my life. Seeing all these people onstage, identifying themselves publicly as members of the G&L community, is one of the first things a wider world is starting to see of us other than Pride marches in larger cities the last dozen years. The Gay Games adds sports as something the public can relate to – hey, we’re not so different.  Talk to members of several choruses about coming to New York next year. Stay until the end and head out to S.F. State for the Volleyball finals.

Seattle vs. L.A. is the final match. Seattle wins in a tiebreaker. Take picture of my San Diego volleyball friend with his bronze; he says he’s proud of having a medal at all. Earlier today, S.F. Pendulum beat Milwaukee 5-4 in softball. Evening it’s back to the Trocadero Transfer with Jeff and others. Run into an acquaintance from Knoxville who’s sporting a Mid-South gay man’s uniform of preppy multi-colored pants instead of jeans and I can’t help rolling my eyes. Viola Wills is tonight’s entertainer with Stormy Weather, If You Could Read My Mind, Up on the Roof – and then her unfortunate Sound of Music Medley, which is the kind of thing that killed disco. D.J. is Tommy Williams. The bar closes at 2 – difficult to get used to for us New Yorkers – but people stay until 3 a.m. with soft drinks. Jeff and I cab home. One day to go!

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

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