August 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm EDT | by Michael Key
PHOTOS: Gay Games day 1
Gay Games 9, GG9, International Gay Games, Cleveland, Ohio, gay news, Washington Blade

The Opening Ceremony to the International Gay Games was held at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The International Gay Games began on Saturday in Cleveland with several events culminating in the Opening Ceremony.

In the morning, a memorial quilt panel was unfurled as speakers remembered the early days of the Games and those who contributed to its founding. Following remarks and a musical performance, athletes kicked off the games with the Memorial International Rainbow Run.

In the early afternoon, Olympic legend Greg Louganis gave a talk at the City Club with Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronn Richard.

Later in the day, athletes from around the world gathered in their teams and marched together in the Opening Ceremony at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Opening Ceremony featured performances by Lance Bass, Alex Newell of “Glee,” Andrea McArdle of “Annie” fame, and the Pointer Sisters. President Barack Obama gave a video address welcoming athletes to the games.

CLICK HERE to see photos from the second day of the Games.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)  

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Michael Key has worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Blade since 2009 and is currently serving as the photo editor. He has worked on Capitol Hill, in the White House, on the campaign trail and in cities along the East Coast taking iconic photos documenting the extension of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other events of interest to the LGBT community. Follow Michael

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