Gay Games 9 Leaves a Positive Legacy

Now that the various sports competitions and cultural events of Gay Games 9 are fond memories for its participants, spectators and community members, the organizers have announced that this was the most financially successful Games in the organization’s 32-year history.

As the largest world-class inclusive sporting and cultural event held every four years, the Gay Games gives athletes from across the globe the opportunity to come together under its founding principles of “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™.” Held during August 2014 in the northeastern Ohio areas of Cleveland and Akron, the next Games will be held in Paris in 2018.

According to the Cleveland Foundation, lead sponsor of the Gay Games, here is a numbers breakdown of the recent event:

  • 20,000 athletes and visitors
  • $52.1 million economic impact
  • $6.8 million revenue raised (from sponsors, civic organizations, participant fees)
  • 36 sports spread across 40 venues to continue efforts for a more inclusive and diverse community in Ohio’s northeast community.
  • 3,000 volunteers
  • 200 credentialed media
  • $120,000 donated to create a new Gay Games LGBT Legacy Fund at the Cleveland Foundation to continue efforts for a more inclusive and diverse community in Ohio’s northeast community.

Thomas Nobbe, executive director of Gay Games 9 said at a recent forum on the lessons and legacies of the Games that another $27,000 will go toward boosting the Gay Community Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.

Nobbe gave credit to generous corporate sponsors for the economic success of games and also praised event organizers who were committed to leaving the Cleveland and Akron areas with a gift that will help to continue the Games’ legacy. He also noted that the board leadership of Gay Games 9 placed importance on operating in a fiscally responsible manner, saying that the “event planners learned from previous games, which offered elaborate – but very expensive – opening ceremonies. We were advised not to go overboard,” he said.

The Opening Ceremonies in Cleveland saw a huge rainbow flag rolled out while thousands of athletes from over 50 countries and representatives from across the United States proudly marched to officially start Gay Games 9. Presenters and performances included Greg Louganis, Lance Bass and the Pointer Sisters and also included chorale groups and the Gay Games Team Marching Band as part of the week-long celebration.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Adding More Safety Barriers

Following Kyle Busch’s accident during the recent NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Daytona International Speedway (DIS), Atlanta Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials reviewed existing SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers and other walls at the track and decided to add a total of 130 linear feet of extra protective barrier.

Busch sustained a compound fracture in his lower right leg and a mid-foot break in his left foot, the result of a multi-car wreck that caused his No. 54 Toyota to strike a concrete wall at nearly full speed. Joie Chitwood III, DIS president vowed to add SAFER barriers to “every inch” of the DIS facility.

Meanwhile, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell took responsibility for the accident, telling FOX Sports “As promised, we expedited a review of potential safety advancement at each of our racing venues.” He continued to say that “We’re pleased with the additional safety enhancements Atlanta Motor Speedway will be making leading into our events this weekend. As we’ve stated, NASCAR and its track partners remain steadfastly committed to safety.”

According to multiple reports in addition to Atlanta and Daytona, more SAFER barriers are also being added to Talladega, Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway.

Spring Training Includes Domestic Violence Education

Spring training includes some new training this year for all major league baseball players on 40-man rosters according to an Associated Press report. This is being coordinated by Futures Without Violence, a San Francisco-based organization in agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association

Following the bad press received by the NFL’s handling of domestic violence issues of several of their players, the report indicated that MBL officials started meetings with groups to work on an effective policy to address how baseball would handle the problem.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that “… we’re not going to settle for something less than that.” Manfred also said that he was hopeful an agreement would be reached before opening day, saying he’d be “disappointed if we were not able to come to an agreement.” Opening day for the 2015 season is Sunday, April 5.

While the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) doesn’t define discipline for players charged with “physical force or violence, including but not limited to, sexual assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest, battery and assault,” it does permit for punishment to be imposed by the commissioner or the player’s team. A clause of the CBA also provides for players to get treatment for alcohol-related and off-field violent offenses.