2006 Gay Games

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VII Gay Games
Chicago 2006
Gay Games VII Logo.svg
Games logo
Host city Chicago
Country United States
Motto Where the World Meets
Nations participating 70
Athletes participating 11,500
Events 30 sports
Opening ceremony July 15, 2006 (2006-07-15)
Closing ceremony July 22, 2006 (2006-07-22)
Main venue Soldier Field (Opening Ceremonies) and Wrigley Field (Closing Ceremonies)
Website gaygameschicago.com
Gay Games VI Gay Games VIII  >

The 2006 Gay Games (Gay Games VII), colloquially called the Chicago Gaymes, was part of a family of international sports and cultural festivals called Gay Games, sanctioned by the Federation of Gay Games and organized by the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community of the host city of Chicago, Illinois in the United States. The competition took place July 15– July 22, 2006. The official Gay Games VII slogan was "Where the World Meets."

Actual athletic events were played in venues scattered throughout Chicago and its suburbs, all participating in the Gay Games through special permissive votes in their respective town or village councils. Cultural events included concerts and performances by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Megan Mullally, among others added to the festival's feel and charm. Contemporary artists also provided exhibitions as part of the Gay Games.

Corporate sponsorship was key in planning Gay Games VII, garnering support for global advertising from large companies like Absolut Vodka, American Airlines, Ernst & Young, Fleishman-Hillard and Walgreens. Media relationships were created with the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Times, ChicagoPride.com and the National Broadcasting Company. Advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign offered substantial funding for the event, as well.

Originally awarded to Montréal, Canada[edit]

The seventh edition of the Gay Games was originally planned for Montréal, Canada in 2006, but the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) removed its sanction after differences arose between it and the Montréal 2006 organizing committee. For more information on the change of host cities, see the Schism in LGBT sports communities over Gay Games VII section of the Gay Games article.

Opening Ceremony[edit]

Soldier Field hosted the opening ceremonies of Gay Games VII.

The ceremony took place on July 15, 2006 in Chicago's Soldier Field. 40,000 attended. [1]


The concept for Opening Ceremony, conceived and directed by Kile Ozier [kileozier.com], was to tell the parallel stories of the evolution of the GLBT Community as community and as individuals; giving it a global context and relevance. The four acts represent the four stages of this evolutionary process as envisioned by the Director: Exclusion - that moment when we discover that we may not fit into the world as we might have thought, growing up...the moment of discovery of difference; Oppression - the manifestation and formalization of the dynamic initiated in Exclusion...homophobia, gay bashing, contemplation and execution of suicide out of despair...ending with the embracing of self and the beginnings of hope; Expression - the power of community and standing up for oneself, of coming out of the closet, finding Like Others, celebration of individuality and difference within even our own communities; Ignition - the taking of all this powerful energy and philosophy and lighting the world with the ideals of enlightenment and acceptance.

At the midway point of the Ceremony was the "Exhortation to a Weary Army," a reinvigoration to the community in the worldwide fight against AIDS, given from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and tribute to Tom Waddell, the founder of the global Gay Sports movement and the Gay Games.

The ceremony consisted of five parts:[2]


  • DJ Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of House” (a genre of music which originated in Chicago) played music for the prologue
  • The Procession of over 11,000 Athletes and Participants of Gay Games VII in a record 46 minutes
  • Oath to the Athletes and Participants led by David Kopay
  • The National Anthem of the United States of America - Christy Fairbairn Hasselson, Windy City Gay Idol 2006
  • Oath to the Officials - Billy Bean, Saskia Webber
  • Welcome by Chicago Games Inc. - Co & Vice Chairs: Sam Coady, Suzanne Arnold, Tracy Baim, Kevin Boyer
  • Responsibility for Change - Megan Mullally
  • Welcome by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

Act I “Exclusion”

Act II “Oppression”

Act III “Expression”

Act IV “Ignition” and the Lighting of the Flame

Mayor Richard M. Daley's Remarks[edit]

"On behalf of all the people of Chicago, I’m delighted to welcome you to the seventh Gay Games. I want to acknowledge the Co-Chairs of Chicago Games, Suzanne Arnold and Sam Coady, Vice Co-Chairs Tracy Baim and Kevin Boyer, as well as their staff and all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make these games a reality. I would also like to thank the Federation of Gay Games, for choosing Chicago as the 2006 host City and for carrying on the vision of Tom Waddell. Chicago is pleased and honored to have been selected to host this historic event, and you could not have chosen a more appropriate site."[3]


Wrigley Field hosted several field events and the closing ceremonies (note: this photo is of an unrelated, Chicago Cubs baseball game).

Other Events[edit]

Sporting events[edit]

Lake View East Chamber of Commerce advertised Gay Games VII throughout its neighborhood.

Results [26][edit]

Badminton Singles [26] Gold Silver Bronze
Men's T Dexter Giffard, Chicago, IL, USA Chris van der Westhuizen, Milwaukee, WI, USA Mark Scrivener, London, UK
Men's A Collin Koo, Vancouver, BC, CANADA Richard Liu, London, UK Aaron Ray Antonio, Chicago, IL, USA
Men's B Dariusz Zieba, Phoenix, AZ, USA Martin Kraemer, Munich, GERMANY Malcolm Banks, London, UK
Men's CC Ron Ng Dennis Fong, San Leandro, CA, USA Lucas Wonn, Chicago, IL, USA
Men's C AJ Jamal, Long Beach, CA, USA Jeff Weber, Chicago, IL, USA Rick Jun Li
Women's A Cindy Lee, Austin, TX, USA Suanne Au, Lincoln, NE, USA Amy Ma, Arlington Heights, IL, USA
Women's B Laura Grieve, San Francisco, CA, USA Bonnie May, Florence, MA, USA Ilse Aben, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
Women's C Coni Staff, Forestville, CA, USA Karen Shoffner, Elk Grove Village, IL, USA Emma Lou "Scottie" Scott, Houston, TX, USA

Host country performance[edit]

Closing ceremony[edit]

Cyndi Lauper sings at Gay Games VII's Closing Ceremony at Wrigley Field.

The Games' closing ceremony was held July 22, 2006 at Wrigley Field. 25,000 spectators attended. Mayor Richard M. Daley handed over the flag to the Deputy Mayor of Cologne, host of the next Gay Games. [3][27] Performers included, amongst others, Cyndi Lauper.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "USA – Gay Games: Opening Ceremony". globalgayz.com. January 1, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Chicago Games. "Opening Ceremony Program". Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  3. ^ a b "Gay Games Chicago". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Badminton". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  5. ^ 20Volleyball "Beach Volleyball". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Basketball". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bowling". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Cycling". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ "DanceSports". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Darts". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Diving". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Figure Skating". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Flag Football". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Golf". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Marathon". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ Ice%20Hockey "Ice Hockey". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Martial Arts". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Physique". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Pool Billiards". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Power Lifting". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Racquetball". gaygameschicago.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Illinois town council OKs Gay Games". USA Today. 4/5/2006. Retrieved September 29, 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ Ritt, Emmy (April 14, 2014). "For Sailor, Gay Games have been 'greatest gift of all'". www.outsports.com. OutSports. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  24. ^ "USA – Gay Games: Swimming & Sports". www.globalgayz.com. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "2006 Gay Games VII Chicago Sports and Cultural Festival". www.events.org. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "Gaygameschicago.org". Gaygameschicago.org. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  27. ^ "Gay Games 06 Chicago Closing Ceremony". globalgayz.com. January 1, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]