Cleveland Begins Preparations for Gay Games 9
Cleveland officially rolled out the rainbow carpet to Gay Games 9 athletes this month with the opening of early hotel reservations and a preview of the city's iconic Terminal Tower lit in rainbow colors.
"The 2014 Games represents an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the richness of Northeast Ohio. We are proud to spotlight all that makes the region truly special - from first-class sporting venues to world-class cultural sites, and a community that is eager to welcome LGBT visitors and their friends from around the globe," said Stephen G. Sokany, co-chair of Gay Games 9, a gay man and resident of downtown Cleveland.
Hollie M. Ksiezyk, co-chair of the Gay Games 9 and an out lesbian, added that Cleveland's LGBT and ally community is ready to welcome the estimated 25,000 visitors from around the U.S. and the world for the games, which take place August 9-16, 2014.
"This opportunity will be another step taken toward equality, education and change," said Ksiezyk. "I am extremely proud to be a part of this historic event."
Started in 1982 by the late Dr. Tom Waddell in San Francisco, the Gay Games' goal is to foster a healthy sporting competition among LGBT and ally athletes from around the world. The games are governed by the Federation of Gay Games and hosted in a different city every four years. Cleveland marks the fifth time the games have been hosted in the U.S.
Cleveland won the bid to host the 2014 games in 2008, beating out Boston and Washington, D.C.