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50 Years in 50 Weeks: 2006's Sporting Life

by Jim Provenzano

Bay Area Reporter

Thursday December 9, 2021

2006 was a double-banner year for LGBT athletes. Two international sporting events were to take place that August: The seventh Gay Games in Chicago, and the upstart rival, the Montreal Outgames.

Our June 22 Pride section featured eight sports articles (swimming, water polo, cycling, triathlon, softball, physique, wrestling, track and field) penned by myself, and four articles (tennis, badminton, volleyball) written by Rob Akers, including one feature on a triathlete gay couple who competed in both the Gay Games and Outgames.

The years-long controversies over the Montreal group appropriating the concept after contracts and licensing negotiations failed are too expansive to detail here. Suffice it to say that the eventual collapse of the Outgames was predicted in the tenth and last year of my weekly Sports Complex column, and later in Roger Brigham's subsequent write-ups.

Despite our collective fact-based research and interviews, we were still sometimes accused of pro-Gay Games bias. Being the newspaper whose previous sports columnists include Tom Waddell, the co-creator of the Gay Games, may have had something to do with it. So would the not-subtle group portrait of athletes posed in Rick Gerharter's photo below the arch at San Francisco's Kezar Stadium, where many events from the first two Gay Games were held.

(Note: the archived issues on https://archive.org/details/bayareareporter stop at 2005. For articles published in 2006 and later, visit www.ebar.com and issuu.com/bayareareporter.)

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