Team Alaska wins 13 medals at Gay Games

The results are in from the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, and Team Alaska kicked butt!

Five gay and lesbian athletes and four supporters traveled from Alaska to Germany as Team Alaska, competing in squash, martial arts, road racing and sport shooting.

Their medal count is impressive: Nathalie Martin won the top women's gold medal in squash, Trevor Storrs won 3 golds and 2 silvers in martial arts, Darl Schaaff won 2 golds and a bronze in martial arts, and Charles Francis won 3 silvers and a bronze in sport shooting.

Congratulations, Team Alaska!
"Cologne was great," Nathalie told Bent Alaska.

"I got fourth place overall in the combined men and women Division B out of 50 [squash competitors], and got the gold medal for all women participants, and on a side note received a sportsmanship pin from the Games!"

"We all did well and put Alaska on the map!"
Sport shooting was offered for the first time at the Gay Games, held at a local shooting club, and Charles was the only participant from the U.S. He praised the club to
"Amazing, fantastic, excellent competition venue," said Charles Francis from Team Alaska, USA. Charles is participating for the second time at the Gay Games, but for the first time in sport shooting.
He won silvers in the two individual contests, and won a silver and a bronze in the 3-person team competitions, where he was paired with male and female shooters from Germany.

As a part-time resident of Homer, Alaska, the Band of Thebes blogger was also on Team Alaska. He sent the Alaska flag photo of Nathalie and Trevor, and wrote
"In ten days of many conversations, including long meals, with Germans and athletes from four continents, no one ever mentioned Obama to us. Not once. A few did ask about Alaska's half-term governor..."
What was the best part of the Cologne Gay Games?
"The people," replied Trevor. "Nearly 10,000 athletes and thousands more spectators from 70 countries. Having the opportunity to meet them and talk was amazing."

"There were people here from parts of the world that even if they won a medal they could not take it back let alone talk about their experience because they would be killed. Stories like this and others makes the Games so powerful."
Most of the Cologne Team Alaska also attended the Chicago Gay Games in 2006. Nathalie and Trevor medaled in Chicago, as did Federation of Gay Games board member and Team Alaska organizer Darl Schaaff.

Darl, as the FGG Officer of Ceremonies, was in Cologne months before the games began. The slow economy was a challenge for organizers, he told the B.A.R., but he was inspired by the way the citizens of Cologne supported the event.
"I think there's a remarkable story here, and it's a tribute to bad times and generous people," he said. "The money is very tight, and the [financial] contributions have not been great. The way this has been dealt with is that the volunteer effort has rallied. It's remarkable to go into the Gay Games office and see the enthusiasm of the volunteers.
After years of preparation, and an exciting week of competition, these games have ended. The closing ceremony was held on Saturday: the Vice Mayor of Cologne thanked everyone, the flame was extinguished and the flag of the Federation of Gay Games was handed over to the hosts of the Gay Games Cleveland 2014.

Video of the closing ceremony, with the cheerleading exhibition group Cheer SF passing the torch from the Cologne leaders to the Cleveland organizers, is posted on Gay Games VIII Cologne 2010's Facebook page. (I'll update the post with a clip when they're on YouTube.)

Congratulations to Team Alaska, and welcome home.


Philip Munger said...

Congratulations, TEAM ALASKA!

AkMom said...

Awesome, way to go Team Alaska!!

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