Sports Complex - Lucky VII: Gay Games Heats Up Chicago

While a record heat wave left visitors sweating, for the 11,650 participants of the seventh Gay Games, which opened Saturday, July 15, at Soldier Field in Chicago, being drenched in sweat was the goal.
Amid the bustle of registration, which finished at the Chicago Hilton Hotel earlier that day, thousands of participants greeted each other and took care of last-minute questions and needs before opening ceremonies that night.
For Robert Shimmel from Wyandotte, Mich., the Games are part of his impressive record of having competed in more than 260 marathons. “I’ve done one in every state three times,” said Shimmel, who is 76. “I’ve also done every Canadian province and territory once.” Married to a woman and “a hundred percent gay,” Shimmel said, “my family encourages me to do whatever I want.” In addition to competing in the marathon, Shimmel planned to watch the country-western dance competition.
Even before athletes entered Soldier Field for opening ceremonies, an air of festivity prevailed. Jody Gates of Team New Orleans women’s basketball handed out colorful Mardi Gras beads to passersby. Competing in the “over 50” category, Gates has played basketball since childhood, and has joined with straight and lesbian players from the Senior Olympics to compete. “It’s wonderful to be here,” said Gates. “We ran in Amsterdam’s Games and in New York. It’s a great experience, all the way around.”
Gates, 67, said about 30 New Orleans residents traveled to Chicago to be in the Games. “[Our group’s> a lot smaller this year, for obvious reasons,” said Gates, referring to the devastation of last year’s Hurricane Katrina, which swept through the Gulf Coast. Nevertheless, Team New Orleans will compete in tae kwon do, bowling, volleyball and other sports. “Some of us lost our homes and are living with friends or in trailers. I’m living in half my home. We’re thrilled to be here in Chicago, come hell and high water!”
The traditional hours-long waiting game of grouping athletes at their entry points to the stadium passed quickly with the help of hundreds of volunteers, like Dave Schumaker, who carried hundreds of bottles of water for thirsty athletes. Christopher Rowe, also a volunteer, said, “I’m carrying a nation’s flag today, helping at water polo tomorrow, and with wrestling on Monday.”
The Games’ opening ceremonies, produced by Kile Ozier, hearkened back to the 1994 Games in New York, where a spectacle filled with American traditions inspired the thousands of local and visiting athletes and cultural participants.
Bursting onto the green football lawn of Soldier Field, members of Team San Francisco, hundreds strong and in colorful blue jackets, marched toward a giant golden cauldron. Since the Gay Games began in San Francisco, “the Athens of the Games” is always given the honor of being first on the field. But, soon enough, participants from 65 countries marched in, rounded off by the 2,500-strong Team Chicago, and quickly filled the playing field. Some stood while others relaxed on the cool grassy field. As darkness ensued, athletes, on cue, lit up 11,000 glow-sticks in six colors, making a giant, twinkling rainbow flag.
Figure skater and Federation of Gay Games (FGG) board member Laura Moore has been involved in the FGG’s scholarship task force, which brought nearly 100 athletes from South Africa, Croatia, Papua New Guinea, and other countries. “We had a special reception on Saturday to welcome these guests,” said Moore. “The speeches were tearful

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less