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    Final Recap on the Gay Games, Upcoming Events

    gaygmaesBy Tony Jasinski

    The Gay Games is the biggest event in gay sports, with possibly the Gay Softball World Series being second. Here are a handful of moments that came in too late to include last time:

    SF’s soccer team took the Gold Medal in Division 2 with twelve teams in that bracket. Team member (and board member) Trey Allen shared some of his experiences. He said that he was impressed with LGBT flags in so many places around the city. Their terminal tower (like NY’s Empire State Building) was draped in glowing rainbow colors during the games. Like other athletes, he commented that local people were very welcoming and friendly.

    His special moment was getting to know a police lieutenant from Akron who happened to be a lesbian. Trey said, “Lt. Cynthia Christman made the biggest impression on me because she is a trailblazer for the community.” She told him that she spent two years preparing her force for the Gay Games, and she made it a point to visit the athletic venues to spend time with many athletes and spectators and to welcome them to the upper Ohio region.

    Marco Rodriguez attended the finals in basketball, and the Rockdogs (formerly an SF team still with several SF teammembers) fielded two squads. The over-35 division team took a silver medal, which Marco said was motivating to the “A” division team since both teams had targeted the gold medal. Though the “A” division championship game against Washington DC was close, the Rockdogs did persevere and won the gold. The players said they could hear Marco in the stands cheering for them, and that it made a difference. Marco admitted, though, that the closing ceremonies weren’t as impressive as the other activities of the week.

    Coming Events

    On Folsom Street Fair weekend, there will be a national soccer tournament hosted by SF’s Spikes. People can individually enroll for the tournament, and they will be placed on a team. Women and men are both welcome! The games take place at the well-regarded Bladium facility in Alameda. The organization also hosts regular local indoor leagues and ‘free play.’

    The SFGBA’s (San Francisco Gay Basketball Association) fall season will start September 10. “A” teams will play on Wednesday nights (the more competitive players), and “B” teams will play on Thursday nights at the Castro gymnasium (dedicated to Mark Bingham) behind Mollie Stones. Games are at 7pm and 8pm, and spectators are encouraged to attend. Newly installed president of the SFGBA, Marco Rodriguez, is shaking up the league with surprise events, free t-shirts, increased sponsorship, changed schedules, greater visibility, and more. Marco said, “My goal this season is to fully integrate the new players into the program by making them feel included and welcome.”  He wants the program to show a ‘new energy’ to gain momentum and to do more.

    Tony Jasinski is the former president of the San Francisco Gay Basketball League.