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Here’s what some of the athletes from Team Nashville had to say about participating in the Gay Games VII.
Where do I start...I will always have a lasting memory of Chicago as a welcoming and very gay-friendly place. Everywhere we went people greeted us with smiles and encouragement. On the trains and on the street everyone welcomed the athletes and participants of the Games. Then Mayor Richard Daley gave an impassioned speech at the opening about how Chicago is a diverse city that welcomes everyone, regardless of race, nationality or sexual orientation. He even made a pitch for domestic partnership benefits (which are now offered to Chicago city employees) and same-sex marriage! What a departure from the regressive politics, both Democratic and Republican, in Tennessee! How refreshing to visit an American city where the gay and lesbian community is not just tolerated, but embraced.
As we marched from the holding area, a large assembly of Team Chicago yelled out a huge cheer for Team Nashville and the other 30 or so athletes from around Tennessee.
Standing with Team Nashville in the dark stadium out on Soldier Field holding up our blue lights along with all of the thousands of other athletes with colored lights--- together creating a huge rainbow flag. What a sign of unity!
Jumping into the icy waters of Lake Michigan at 6 a.m. to begin my triathlon, biking up Lakeshore Drive with the sun rising over the sailboats on Lake Michigan, wrecking my bike but continuing on, finishing the race by running the 5k in the sweltering heat. Never a dull moment!
Watching Keith make his incredible throw in the javelin and bring home the gold medal!
Meeting up with friends we had made in previous Gay Games in Amsterdam and Sydney.
Enjoying the party-like atmosphere in Boys Town--Halstead where athletes strolled the streets with their recently won medals, laughter and music poured out of the packed bars, and everyone was having a great time at the Games.
Getting up early to watch Stan Schklar run the 5K down at the Chicago waterfront. Stan had a great race and would have won a medal in the "biggest smile" category!
Watching speedster Patrick Cooper run the 5k with an impressive time of 17:10, and picking up a silver medal in his age group.
Watching the West Hollywood water polo match against cross-state rival Team San Francisco. I didn't know a bunch of gay guys could have so much fun dunking each other in a pool!
Watching Keith win the bronze medal in the shot put against stiff competition in his age group.
Attending the closing ceremony in Soldier Field with thousands of athletes and participants, hearing Cindy Lauper sing "True Colors", hearing the closing addresses by Billy Bean and Mayor Daley, seeing the Dallas Coy boys dance, and hearing the Vice-Mayor of Cologne welcome us there for the next Gay Games in 2010. Something to look forward to!
I could go on and on...
Patrick Cooper, who brought home a gold and two silver medals:
The thing I enjoyed the most about the Gay Games was the camaraderie of track and field. Everyone sat underneath the trees waiting for their events, unless they were cheering on friends – old or new. I was fortunate enough to be asked to run a 4x400 relay with Team DC late on the last day; the guys were great and it was probably the highlight of my Games. We won silver. I found out later the gold medal winning team, Team LA, was asking for me after I had already agreed to run with Team DC. The guys on my team were amazing, and I am glad I was on the team despite adding a silver instead of gold.
I came to the Gay Games having trained for one specific event, the 5k road race. I only planned to run that race. The morning of the race was a disaster; I barely made it to the start on time. I took silver. I actually cannot honestly say I could have taken gold had things gone more smoothly, but it would have been more of a race. I had nothing that day to respond to the gold metal winner when he went around me.
I was very unhappy with my performance a day and a half later. A friend convinced me to take on another race despite being tired. I would have liked to run a middle distance race, 1500m or 800m, but it was too late to do either. The only choice was a 5000m on the track – grueling considering I had just raced the distance on Wednesday and it was now only Friday. Fortunately, everyone else was worn down as well, and I was able to take gold. At the end of the day my total medal count was one gold and two silver.
I also want to thank Sam Felker and Keith Little for the organization they did in putting Team Nashville together. It was great to have a team, and not just be there by myself. I really encourage gay Nashvillians to get more active and involved in sports. The Rugby team and softball are a great start. Distance running is a great opportunity to get active and to compete as well, and something you can do alone on your own schedule or with people. There is no reason why in four years Nashville can’t have enough track athletes for me to be running on a Team Nashville relay team rather than being a mercenary for other teams.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.