August 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm EDT | by Kevin Majoros
Impressive medal haul for Team DC

COLOGNE, Germany — Every four years, thousands of LGBT athletes from around the world come together for eight days of sports and culture. This past week more than 9,000 athletes from 65 countries competed in the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne. The German contingent led the way with 2,900 athletes followed by 2,300 athletes from the United States.

The format of the Games is similar to the Olympic format except that the founding principles are “Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best.” Athletes of all levels are welcome to compete. And while there were many recreational athletes in attendance, the bulk of the competitors were seasoned athletes who have trained extensively for their events. Yes, there were nightly parties that lasted until dawn, but those parties were attended mainly by the locals and visitors. Most of the athletes had early morning competitions on a daily basis. Team DC brought home more than 100 medals from the Games last week — an astonishing number considering only about 100 of our athletes travelled to Cologne.

The swimmers from the District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC) led the way with 60 medals. Standout performances were given by Neill Williams, Craig Franz, Dean Putterman, Jeff Mead, Eric Czander, Fred Dever and Scott Brinitzer. Neill broke his finger on day 5 at the pool and went on to break two IGLA world records that day. The DC Frontrunners and a few track and field athletes also had a successful week. Chris Coates medaled in eight events on the track and five runners medaled in the marathon. Jeff Dutton turned in an incredible time of 3:19 to win the silver in his first-ever marathon. The CARA bowlers also had a successful week winning six medals led by Gary Deinken who won gold and silver. The DC Sentinels basketball team fought their way through a tough roster to finish with the bronze medal. And finally, Bud Rorison cracked tennis balls all week long on the clay courts to win two silver medals.

I would like to make a special mention of Ben Green. He competed in four sports and brought home medals in triathlon, cycling and softball. I competed with Ben in the 200 freestyle relay at the pool and his zest for competition was truly inspiring.

And so we put to rest the Games for another four years. I spoke to many athletes from all over the world during the week and the general consensus was that we will train even harder for the next Games. One athlete in particular stands out in my mind. Cal, a basketball player from Ireland was competing in his first LGBT sports event. He was a lifelong basketball player and was expecting a walk in the park. By day three he was bedridden after his daily games. Instead of being discouraged, he looked at his experience as inspirational. I think that pretty much sums up the spirit of the Gay Games.

Below is a partial list of medal winners. Congratulations, Team DC!

Peter Beard, Swimming – Gold, Bronze
Justin Bragg, Basketball – Bronze
Scott Brinitzer, Swimming – 3 Silver, Bronze
Clarence Brown, Basketball – Bronze
Gerard Burley, Basketball – Bronze
Shannon Carlson, Bowling – Gold
Chris Coates, Track & Field – 8 Medals
Eric Czander, Swimming – 3 Gold, Silver, Bronze
Gary Deinken, Bowling – Gold, Silver
Fred Dever, Swimming – 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze
Jeff Dutton, Marathon – Silver
Mike Fee, Basketball – Bronze
Drew Fitzmorris, Swimming – Gold, 2 Silver
Tim Francis, Basketball – Bronze
Craig Franz, Swimming – 2 Gold, 5 Silver
Claudia Gebert, Marathon – Silver
Ben Green, Triathlon – Gold
Cycling – Gold
Softball – Silver
Jeremy Glasser, Bowling – Gold
Bob Hartford, Swimming – 2 Bronze
Kei Koizumi, Swimming – Bronze
Track & Field – Gold
Scott Laurie, Bowling – Gold, Silver
Desmond Mackall, Basketball – Bronze
Kevin Majoros, Swimming – Silver
Track & Field – Gold, Bronze
Jeff Mead, Swimming – Gold, 4 Silver
Wonkee Moon, Swimming – Gold, Silver
Chris Morse, Basketball – Bronze
Dawson Nash, Swimming – 2 Bronze
Robert Olson, Marathon – Gold
Road Running – Silver
Sterling Oneal, Basketball – Bronze
Dean Putterman, Swimming – 6 Gold, Silver
Hal Ponder, Swimming – Silver, Bronze
Bud Rorison, Tennis – 2 Silver
Miles Simpson, Basketball – Bronze
Naomi Stafford, Marathon – Silver
Bruce Swanson, Marathon – Gold
Road Running – Gold
Sheerod Wilkerson, Basketball – Bronze
Neill Williams, Swimming – 7 Gold
Stan Young, Swimming – 2 Gold, Bronze

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