By Sara O’Brien
Keeping music at the center of the Gay Games has been a long standing tradition for many years. That is why it comes as no surprise that the Federation of Gay Games
has announced that Sir Elton John has become a Gay Games Ambassador.
“Thousands of musicians have participated in the cultural festivals of the Gay Games,” said Sir Elton. “I’m proud of them and what they have accomplished at the Games Elton John Named Gay Games Ambassador and in their home communities. Along with the athletic participants, they challenge the stereotypes from which
oppression grows and consequently bring the world closer together.”
The Gay Games Ambassador program began prior to the 2002 Gay Games VI in Sydney. An International group of prominent individuals make up these Ambassadors.
Charter members included actor Judith Light, Olymipic gold medal swimmer Bruce Hayes, former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel, and photographer Tom Bianchi. Since the 2002 Gay Games the list has become more colorful and diverse with an array of Olympic champions, professional athletes, celebrities, actors and musicians.
“We feel truly honored that Sir Elton John has accepted our invitation to become an Ambassador for the Gay Games,” said Roberto Mantaci, Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games. “For many years, he has been an ‘ambassador’ for the entire LGBT community, particularly through his charitable work, and his contribution has been immense.”
Over the years, music has become the focal point of the Gay Games. The opening and closing ceremonies include pop, classical, jazz, R & B, country and many other styles of music, and that’s just the beginning. In addition to those ceremonies, many memorable performances throughout the week will take place, as well as daily band and choral performances.
“I am thrilled to be involved with the Gay Games. For more than two decades the Gay Games have turned a welldeserved spotlight on athletic and cultural performances by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their friends from around the world,” expressed Sir Elton.
Gay Games VII takes place in Chicago from July 15-22, 2006.
By Sara O’Brien