GAY GAMES 9, THE

The GAY GAMES 9 is the 9th iteration of the Gay Games, an international gathering for athletic competition hosted by and for people in the LGBTQ+ community. The Games came to Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, from August 9 - 16, 2014, when the Cleveland Foundation hosted the games. The 2014 Gay Games included more than 35 sports and was open to all adult participants, regardless of athletic ability or sexual orientation.

In 2009, Federation of Gay Games selected Cleveland out of fourteen cities which bid to host the games. Several other American cities, including Boston and Miami, were passed up for the opportunity.

THE CLEVELAND FOUNDATION awarded a $250,000 grant to the Gay Games, making the 2014 games the first to have a presenting sponsor. The games received a swift name change, and from 2013 onward was known as The Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation. Other notable sponsors included the CLEVELAND CLINIC, CLEVELAND INDIANS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, Coca Cola, Marriott International, and United Airlines.

Notably, in 2014 the United Church of Christ also sponsored the Gay Games, becoming the first religious group to contribute a large sponsorship to the event.

The opening ceremony was held at the ROCKET MORTGAGE FIELDHOUSE (formerly Quicken Loans Arena) on August 9, 2014. Then President Barack Obama made an on screen appearance to wish athletes a safe and inclusive competition. Former Olympians and other stars, including Greg Louganis, Lance Bass, Alex Newell, and the Pointer Sisters made performance appearances.

The Gay Games brought in more than 20,0000 competitors from over 60 countries. 

The types of athletic competitions offered in the 2014 Gay Games are as follows:

Basketball

Beach Volleyball

Bowling

Cycling

Dance Sport

Darts

Diving

Figure Skating

Flag Football

Golf

Ice Hockey

Marathon and Half-Marathon

Martial Arts

Open Water Swim

Physique

Pool (Billiards)

Powerlifting

Racquetball

Rowing

Running (5K)

Running (10K)

Sailing

Soccer

Softball

Sport Climbing

Squash

Swimming

Table Tennis

Tennis

Track and Field

Triathlon

Volleyball

Water Polo

Wrestling & Grappling

   

To see the results of these competitions, click here. 

Throughout the games, several competitors secured world records. Brian Jacobson lowered his own world record in the Masters 50-meter freestyle swim to 23.31 seconds from 23.43 set only a week before in Minnesota. Ida Keeling became the first person to complete the 100 meter race in the 95-99 age category for an internationally recognized competition. Keeling completed the race in 59.8 seconds. Kinnon MacKinnon became the first out transgender man to take home gold, winning the powerlifting competition at 28 years old. MacKinnon lifted almost three times his body weight to secure first place at the Gay Games.

The Gay Games 9 resulted in more than $52 million in economic exchange throughout its duration.

The WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY hosted a special exhibit for the Gay Games: The Victory of Self: The LGBT Community in Northeast Ohio.


Written by Riley Simko