Friday, May 29, 2009
Mitcham Endorses Gay Games VIII
It should be no surprise, but it's still a sweet coup that the Gay Games got Australian Gold Medal Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham to endorse the quadrennial LGBT sports event, which next takes place in Cologne, Germany in 2010.
Matthew's the only out gay recent Olympic-level champ. It seems like a no-brainer, eh? Well, no. He could have endorsed the (cough, cough, hock a loogie, spit) Outgames.
If you don't understand that reaction, you don't know me and my decade of sports writing, and just stumbled across this blog while looking for more sexy pics of the adorable Mitcham. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
Endorsing the Gay Games helps gain interest in the event. Although I have no problem with athletes getting paid to endorse products, particularly LGBT jocks who get snubbed by other companies, it should be noted that previous Gay Games endorsers did not get paid. They did get a few plane fares and hotel stays covered for promotional trips, etc., which Matthew deserves.
But the fact that someone of the stature of Martina Navratilova (here's my interview with her) only endorsed the first Outgames because they did a financial deal with her credit card company says more about her motivations than that of the dozens of LGBT jocks who endorsed the Gay Games unconditionally.
Oh, and Windy City Times ... (yes, the paper of the city that hosted the last Gay Games, and its executive editor and wunderkind Tracy Baim was on the board of Chicago's Gay Games, but unlike a few Canadian gay papers that basically published opinion pieces disguised as fact-based journalism, -here's a good exception, written by Fred Kuhr- WCT differentiates between columns and news articles) ... reports that not only is Son of OutGames losing money, it's cutting sports events.
You can blame the economy or anything else. I blame karma. As good-natured as the Danes are, their event is rooted in the devious theft of a great idea. They were spawned from a rip-off event that became the world's biggest deficit in the entire history of the LGBT movement; not just sports, the entire history of the LGBT out world.
No amount of vituperous personal attacks on me and my writing from the Montrealers has made their event any better. They never disproved any of the facts I had published in my articles. They and their gullible participants only attacked me.
The first Outgames were hatched before they feigned any interest in continuing negotiations with the FGG. That's their biggest lie. The 2nd biggest lie is that Copenhagen "won" the "bid" to host the second Outgames. There were no other bidders.
So, I wish the Danes well with their sports event. But I won't be surprised when they boast false attendance numbers beforehand, and then go bankrupt afterward.
So, it's a great thing that Mitcham, an authentic champion, is endorsing the true Gay Games. With a need for endorsement dollars, had the Outgames the money to lure him, he might have gone with them. But they didn't, and he didn't. And I'm happy.