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Last Day of the Games…What a Week !

August 8, 2010

On the Day after the Closing Ceremony I attended the FGG General Assembly today..much more on that later…

and we rested..after a long winter and spring to prepare for Cologne…IT HAS ALL COME TO A CLOSE..Thanks Cologne for a great Gay Games !

Stay in Touch with Team Colorado by following us at      www.teamcoloradousa.org

Dancing Away the Night at the Closing Ceremony…….

And a little Pizza celebration …..Yum

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A Guest Blogger- Thanks Andrew

August 7, 2010

Since I am finally finished the competitions and have a day to tour..I thought I would post Andrew Lavasseur”s blog for you to enjoy today….Nice job Andrew….

But since I know many of you are waiting to hear…I did win the Silver medal in mixed doubles tennis for my rating which is C in Europe..my partner, David Joly was fantastic…more on the story later…but suffice it to say..I won’t ever have to face that our male competitor again because he will be bumped to B doubles where he belongs…..enough of the “Sandbagging”

A short little clip from the game:

Andrew’s Blog

Subject: Andrew’s fourth update from Cologne
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 16:58:20 +0000

Good afternoon (Goot tag) my friends,

Well folks looks like those who train the hardest get the medals.  There is not much a coach of three adult teams and one age group team can do when he does not get in the water himself much in the summer.  And as good as water aerobics are for conditioning and making one feel better it is no replacement for lots of regular swimming.  The 100 back did not go well on the third day of competition just a 1:15.89 and another fifth place. (although by .30 seconds)

I had one relay to swim, the 4X50 free relay.  I did swim a :27.45 for my split and were in first place after my opening leg of the relay.  Our last swimmer almost caught the second place team.  It was a very exciting race as we were less then .90 seconds out of the silver medal.  We did win the bronze metal in the 120+ age group for our gallant effort.  Our younger swimmers are doing well in the metal count as are the older swimmers, but I am in the middle with the largest number of competitors and a faster level of competition.  Just can’t seem to break into the medals for individual events.  David Smith, one our younger swimmers is having a great meet, including a new meet record in the 200 fly and lots of gold medals.  He also received his 400 IM gold medal from the US ambassador to Germany who droped by to wish team USA to victory.  Congrats to David!  I have taken pride in the fact that I was able to coach the other swimmers on the team to their glorious victories.

On Wednesday, today, the fourth day of competition, I have no relays or individual events.  Having gotten to know the older men on the team better at dinner on Tuesday, we decided to go for a car tour of the country side looking for Castles, vineyards and wineries.  All was going well while getting ready to go.  I woke up on time made a grand breakfast, talked with one of my hosts as he translated the morning news and received the scoop on the days news and weather.  When suddenly my other host slipped into the shower room just as I was getting read to to use it.  Needless to say, I was late to meet my friends for the car tour due to the delayed shower, trains and trams and missed for the car tour.  Rats, I thought!

Later as I was checking out the old city and looking for a place for lunch I picked up some new batteries for the camera and decided on what turned out to be an excellent choice for lunch.  In the old city I found a salate and sandwich shop with one of the Denver cows on the stoop. You remember the cow art we had all over the city a while back, some are still displayed in Denver.  They were painted in a variety of ways by Denver artists and positioned all over the city, it was very nice.  The salate was prepared as I stood there to my desires and served in a huge stainless steel bowl.  The combination of flavors was delicious.  The turkey sandwich was just right although I do not usually care for the hard crusted bread.  Finally, I capped it off with a cola lite, (diet coke).  Well when I reached for my Glucometer, I realized that I had left it in the apartment.  Whew, had I been on that car tour without my insulin for 8 hours I would have been very screwed up.

After that delicious lunch I went to the apartment and checked my blood sugar levels and took the appropriate amount of insulin but noticed I was very tired.  I decided to lie down for a minute and woke up 4 hours later after having slept very solidly.   Wow, I guess I really needed that nap.  Clearly, I have more energy because I am still typing this update. lol

Tomorrow will be a great day, the fifth day of swimming competition.  I am scheduled for the 50 fly, 4X50 medely relay, butterfly leg and the 50 free.  Due to my lack of swimming conditioning these 50’s should be good for me.  I just can’t finish a 100 fast but my 50’s are in good shape.  I am looking forward to the results.  After the swimming competition on Thursday, I have been invited to represent Colorado Masters Swimming at a reception for team representatives at the Belgian Consulate.  Then we will have a team colorado dinner in the Old City.

That’s all for now,
Thanks for your support, emails asking questions, suggestions for tourist activities and the positive thoughts and comments.
Best to you from Cologne
Andrew

CURRENT MEDAL COUNT – TEAM COLORADO STRIKES GOLD

August 6, 2010

SQUID SWIMMERS MAKE A GOLDEN, SILVER AND BRONZE SPLASH OF THE COLOGNE SWIMMING COMPETITION

Team Colorado has our Swimming SuperStar, David Smith (lookout.. Michael Phelps) and he has won 3 GOLD and 3 Silver medals

And at the ceremonies, David was presented his medal in 400m IM  by the U.S. Ambassador to Germany -Philip D. Murphy.  And Jon Christianson cashed in with 3 gold medals, 2 silvers and a bronze.

Mens Freestyle 4 X 100m Relay – Silver Medal {Mario Silva, David Smith, Jon Christianson, Andrew LeVasseur]

200m Mens Freestyle: Silver Medal (age group) David Smith (Medal presented by openly gay Olympic Gold Medalist in Diving Matthew Mitchum); Silver Medal (age group) – Jon Christianson

200m International Medley – Gold Medal – Jon Christianson; Silver Medal (age group) – Doston Ganiyev

100m Freestyle – Silver Medal – Jon Christianson

100m X 4 International Medley Relay Silver Medal – Tom Arrinson, David Johnson, Glenn Pflum, Kevin Thorn

50 Meter Breaststroke – GOLD Medal – Doston Ganiyev

{Happy Birthday Doston!!!}

100 m Breaststroke – Silver Medal – David Johnson

GOLD Medal – Doston Ganiyev

200 m Butterfly – GOLD Medal – Jon Christianson

GOLD Medal – David Smith

100 m Butterfly   Bronze Medal – Mario Silva

GOLD Medal – Jon Christianson

Silver Medal – David Smith

200 m Breaststroke   – GOLD Medal – Doston Ganiyev

Sonya Jaquez Lewis (Team Colorado) and her International Tennis Mixed doubles partner, David Joly (Belgium) go for the Gold today in Mixed Doubles C competition. They are assured of at least a Silver medal. Sonya sends a special thanks to her women’s doubles partner, Allison for all the support.

Sharon Stump, past President of IGBO, the International Gay Bowling Organization has won 2 Silver medal, one for Team and one for Doubles..she is going for a medal today in the Individual competition.

Congratulations Mary Hetzel, Gold Medalist of Lafayette, CO!

Mary is Phenomenal ! She is probably (and we have to check the record books) the ONLY Colorado athlete who has won a gold medal in every Gay Games she has attended. Mary is a power  lifter and has competed in every Gay Games except the 2nd one in 1986 in San Francisco. The Finals came down to Mary and a German lifter and Mary pulled it through..WOW! And her partner, Terry, a tennis player could also not believe her eyes either. Gal Power Rocks!

We are still awaiting updates from Hockey, Track and Field, Skating, and Martial Arts

Climax Team 1 Ice Hockey will advance to the medal round if they win their 1st game tomorrow.

Bob Wall   made the finals of javelin and hammer throw…congrats to our every own Dr. BOB !

Team Colorado wins first Gold Medal!

August 4, 2010

Congratulations Mary Hetzel, Gold Medalist of Lafayette, CO!

Mary is Phenomenal ! She is probably (and we have to check the record books) the ONLY Colorado athlete who has won a gold medal in every Gay Games she has attended. Mary is a power  lifter and has competed in every Gay Games except the 2nd one in 1986 in San Francisco. The Finals came down to Mary and a German lifter and Mary pulled it through..WOW! And her partner, Terry, a tennis player could also not believe her eyes either. Gal Power Rocks!

Allison originally from NY has a won a medal in every games she has attended in the last 10 years.  She is a long distance runner and this is the silver medal in the 10K for her age group.  She now lives in Berlin and according to our Fab friends, Nana and Susanne..her German language is PERFECT !  (As someone who barely say schneitzel..I am so jealous..)

Wow..what a fun match we watched yesterday with the Women’s soccer team all the way from Soweto, South Africa versus the tough Germans of Team Berlin. Back and Forth then Berlin scored and although they has many good tries..that was the final score, 1 to 0. Vuvuzelas blaring…

And to end the day…good food and great company in the Cologne City Center and then music and a walk around the Woman’s space…It is living the Dream…..

Wow..Welcoming the World…

August 2, 2010

WOW!! WELCOMING THE WORLD!! COLOGNE GAY GAMES 2010 OPENING CEREMONIES

I have been to several Opening Ceremonies including a World Series and Stanley Cup Finals but Cologne did us Queers right tonight.

Ten thousand athletes from all over this planet gathered on a huge field and a feeling of everything is right with the world tonight abound.

The volunteers and organization was right on. You felt secure yet free to be anything and who you are. In the heart of a vibrant city yet all of us on the field joined by our love of sport ready to march into a huge stadium that by size could inspire any competitor to want to give their best.

Intermittent spritzing rain did not deter any spirits and there was ample time for intercontinental reunions and lots of kisses and hugs. Many an athlete has attended these competitions dating back to 1982 and it showed by the squeals of glee and joy.

Based on an Olympic tradition, I thoroughly enjoy the sport of trading pins. Many a smile was caught as fellow “Pin Whores” met and a new City or Country team pin was acquired. My Team Colorado pins seemed to be in demand as I had gone through more than 25 in an hour. And at the risk of offending someone..I still am partial to the Team London pins..I have many from past games and always hunt them out.

And then the moment came that we all gathered in front of our Team Colorado Banner and I could not be more proud. Each of us..some borrowing money from friends and families, some saving for months even years, some deciding at the last minute all collected ourselves on this green field in the middle o Germany to say..We are OUT and PROUD and will represent Colorado and our Country, our Team and Ourselves in a spirit of fair and fierce and friendly competition.

And what a jam packed day because earlier in the afternoon, Allison and I attended the FGG scholarship reception where we watched GLISA International Co-Chairs, Wessel and Julia present a collaborative plaque to the FGG.  Watch for future blogs about 1QE..the movement to create One Quadrennial Event instead of having both the World OutGames AND the Gay Games….

Sonya and Wessel

Julia enjoying the Opening Cermonies

So much more to say about the Opening Ceremonies so bear with me while I get some sleep and dream about a night to remember.

Love All…

Deutschland Lampoon “Family” Vacation

July 31, 2010

Deutschland Lampoon “Family” Vacation

Do you remember the old college pranks of how many freshman can you fit in a Volkswagen? Well..cut forward to 2010..How many lesbians and tennis gear can you fit in a Volkswagen Golf?

Normally this would not be an issue but in the car for 5 hours on the AutoBahn between Berlin and Cologne with apples and carrots at my left ear and Gay Games T-shirts and Team Colorado banner falling on my right ear gets a little tricky. Lucky for us, Nana and Susanne, our dear friends and hosts were super organized enough to get a car top rack or else we would be hitch hiking right now.

So..Allison wanted to try driving on the famous highway and sure enough less than 30 minutes into her turn..we had to swerve to miss the accident happening right in front of us. A “clean” sideswipe of 2 little cars but no one hurt and only the paperwork to deal with. It just gives you goose bumps when you see it at 90 miles an hour.

So..to calm our nerves we stopped at one of the many endless Rastaetten (reststops) complete with a Burger King and Sausage Hut. You have at least 15 different sausages to choose from and 5 different Gurken (pickles)..my favorite is a white mustard soaked pickle..called a Senfgurke.

For you Colorado readers..I was really fascinated with the alternative energy sources I saw along the way. Just on the one highway alone..those innovative Germans have built hundreds of wind turbines and we saw solar and hydro sources. Anything to get away from petroleum…very smart.

At long last we saw the signs for Koln, our Gay Games destination..and we knew our trip was complete. It is time for one of those tasty steins of Bier.

Tomorrow …we register for the Games and gear up for the Opening Ceremonies.

Love All…..

Why Cologne?

July 30, 2010

Waking up to the first full day in the “Old World” is both exhilarating but overwhelming. Allison and I have been looking forward to exploring Berlin for a long time and especially with our dear friends, Nana and Susanne., who live here.  Imagine trying to show someone Denver and Boulder in one day?  Do you do mountain or city, your typical life with family and friends, or as athletes..your sport and teammates?.

Well..we were treated to all of the above.

We took in the Turkish and Jewish neighborhoods of Berlin. Saw the famous Reichstag (Congress and former head of the Third Reich) and strolled the grounds of the Arts Complex (see video). And Berlin is having their own Biennial of the Americas…(like Denver)..they featured artists who are displaying art and concepts about reclaiming our natural resources and using materials that would be shoved off to the Landfill.. very green and thought provocating.  We played tennis at the Tennis club and met some of the team and friends.  Ah..the Red Clay…

So..we did NOT see anything about the Gay Games while in  Berlin..not a total surprise because we did not make it to any of the Gay Villages but when the subject of Why Cologne? came up.    I was  indeed surprised.  Now..remember I am relatively new to the world of FGG decisions so I am playing catch up if you will….Apparently, Berlin had indeed bid and maybe won the Games..again..translation issues could be at play here..but There are 2 large LGBT Sports organizations in Berlin and they.. surprise surprise… fight about FGG or GLISA.  And when these past battles reared their ugly heads over the 2010 Games..the Gay Mayor of Berlin stepped in and said..if you can not get along..then Berlin will not support $$ the Games…thus Cologne

So..let me know..what you have heard?..and that brings up the Cleveland 2014 discussion..but for another day..

Love All