Some West Hollywood residents, including City Councilmember John Heilman, are heading to Cleveland to participate in the Gay Games, an international sporting and cultural event held every four years.
About 9,000 people are expected to take part in the Gay Games, which will include sporting events including swimming, ice hockey, track, bowling and rowing. This will be the ninth year for the Gay Games, which will be held in Cleveland, OH and run from this Saturday through the following Saturday.
Among the West Hollywood residents heading to Cleveland for the event:
- Mauro Bordovsky – Bordovsky will be recognized with the 2014 Federation of Gay Games Pioneer Legacy Award.“Mauro took part in Gay Games I in 1982, and on his return was among the founders of West Hollywood Aquatics, the first Master’s swim club in the USA specifically for LGBT swimmers,” said Marc Naimark, vice president of external affairs for the Federation of Gay Games. “He has since taken part in every edition of the Gay Games.”“He has served in various positions on the West Hollywood Aquatics Board, and has also participated with International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) since its founding. He has worked for the WH2O Angel Fund, a fund that allows teammates who may not be able to afford to participate to take part in the Gay Games. He is also a great Gay Games athlete, having won 14 gold, 14 silver and six bronze medals.”
- Paolo Figueiredo – A longtime swimmer who has served multiple terms as WH20 president, Figueiredo was a member of the Brazilian Olympic swim team in 1968. Like Bordovsky, he has set records as a swimmer, and he has taken part in the Gay Games many times.
- John Heilman – Heilman, who has served on West Hollywood’s City Council since the city incorporated in 1984, has participated in three previous Gay Games. This year he will compete in volleyball and run the half marathon.”The Gay Games were created at a time when it wasn’t comfortable for LGBT athletes to participate openly in most sports,” Heilman said. “So much has changed since that time, but the Gay Games remain incredibly important because they give members of the LGBT community an opportunity to come together in a safe environment and to play sports. For some spectators, this will be the first time they’ve seen openly LGBT athletes compete.”The Gay Games are in Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up in Cleveland, so I definitely wanted to participate not only to support the Games, but also to support the progress Cleveland has made regarding the LGBT community. When I grew up, I never would have imagined Cleveland hosting a major gay event. I’m proud that attitudes about the LGBT community have improved so much.”
- Jessica Seaton – A chiropractic orthopedist, Seaton is a multi-sport athlete who has done marathons and century bike rides in addition to competitive swimming. In 2010, she was a finalist for the Federation of Gay Games Tom Waddell Award, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the Gay Games and worldwide LGBT sport and culture.” She is a past president of WH20.