Tracey Reavis leads the communication and marketing effort for the Los Angeles Volleyball Organization, Inc. (LAVO) as well as its award-winning annual tournament, the West Hollywood or WeHo Sports Festival (WSF). In May LAVO submitted a bid to host Gay Games XI in Los Angeles in 2022, the 40th anniversary of the event’s founding, and Tracey has also taken on the role of director of digital ccommunication and strategy for the bid. I am happy to introduce to you to this busy woman who is an important face of the sports diversity movement.
Eric Gonzales:What sports have you played in the past, Tracey? Have you always been a sports fan?
Tracey Reavis: I’m a huge sports fan! If I had to choose I’d say soccer, American football and golf are my favorites. But seriously, there’s probably not a single sport I won’t watch. Growing up I always loved writing so I didn’t think of becoming an athlete because I knew I wanted to be a sportswriter. Working in the sports industry is exactly where I planned to be.
EG: Please tell us your role with the LA 2022 Gay Games bid and what you consider the best thing about working with it.
TR: It evolved from working with LAVO on the West Hollywood Sports Festival. We want to continue bringing the sports community together and what better way than by hosting the Gay Games? Developing a digital communications strategy will be a fun and creative way to use technology on a grand scale at a global sporting event to engage the LGBT sports community. It’s about connecting; it’s about giving participants a unique and exciting experience. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be an integral part of creating that.
I have been around sports my whole career, covering events both in the U.S. and around the world; I’ve also been in locker rooms of professional sports teams. And yet I will tell you that the day of the first WeHo Sports Festival, I was overwhelmed with a sense of belonging, of friendly competition and a feeling that all are welcome. I have never experienced that before and it gave me goose bumps. I want everyone participating in the Gay Games to experience that same feeling.
EG: Tell us about your favorite professional and/or college sports teams.
TR: I’m originally from New York and have been a Yankees fan since I was 11. That’s my only favorite team. And of course I always cheer for my alma mater — Go Fordham Rams!
EG: How about sharing some of your favorite past times with our readers, Tracey.
TR: There are so many. I love reading, music, flowers, traveling, learning new languages — I’m studying French and German now.
EG: With all your hard work, have you received any special awards honoring your achievements?
TR: Honestly, my reward comes from knowing that I am helping others. Having the Gay Games in Los Angeles will be a dream come true for so many athletes, and I’m happy to help play even a small part in making that happen. I am also working to make it easier for minorities and underserved communities to be informed about the opportunities that exist in the digital industry. My goal is to eventually create a non-profit. Launching that will be a huge reward for me.
EG: Have you had a role model, someone who has positively influenced you along the way?
TR: I have lots. I am fortunate to have a number of former bosses and mentors who have set many great examples that I’ve followed throughout my career. I’m also inspired by people who have overcome great obstacles. The human spirit is amazing, and stories of faith and triumph always remind me to “keep kicking,” because anything is possible.
EG: Thanks for letting us get to know you better and the roles you play within the LGBT sports community, Tracey. Is there anything else you’d like to share with Compete’s readers?
TR: I’d like to thank all the volunteers and supporters of the Gay Games bid. We really are our slogan — “One Team, One Dream.”