Last month Compete hosted our sixth Compete Sports Diversity Awards. Now officially titled The Petey Awards, we had the opportunity to honor many deserving athletes and organizations. While all the honorees are equally important, we made the decision to fea- ture Chris Verdugo on this month’s cover.

Verdugo is an unlikely award winner—he’s certainly more of a music man, serving as the executive director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. But he is also an inspiring ath- lete. Along with fellow AIDS/LifeCycle riders, Verdugo helped raise nearly $80,000 to fight HIV/AIDS by participating in the 545-mile-long route from San Francisco to Los Angeles last June. As we said at the The Petey Awards, if some say life is a journey then AIDS/LifeCycle is the journey of a lifetime.

For those of you who didn’t attend the awards, please cele- brate with us inside this issue of Compete. You will read more about all of this year’s honorees, including AIDS/LifeCycle’s own Kristin Flickinger (who is someone I personally admire), MLB’s ambassador for inclusion Bill Bean, You Can Play exec- utive director Wade Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers, former NFL athlete David Kopay and our Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year, Jake Mason among many others.

I hope all of their stories inspire you as they did me. Oh, and I really think Chris Verdugo was an excellent choice for the cover.

Sport On,

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Eric Carlyle
Chief Executive Officer


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