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YEAR IN REVIEW 2014: Sports

From far-flung tournament wins to strong Gay Games showing, local leagues enjoy banner year



LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade


LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade

Lucas Amodio of D.C. Aquatics Club wins the two-mile open water race at the 23rd annual Swim for life. (Washington Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

It was another banner year for the LGBT sports community of Washington. The clubs have continued their steady growth and are the shining example of what a cohesive LGBT sports community can accomplish.

Twenty teams consisting of 270 players battled during season nine of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League in pursuit of the DCGFFL Super Bowl title. The TangerQueens (Orange) took out the Rear Admirals (Navy) in a score of 41-28 in the championship game.

LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade

TangerQueens (Orange) win the DCGFFL Super Bowl in season nine. (Washington Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

Ski Bums spent 2014 looking for the best skiing and snowboarding powder around the United States and other parts of the world. Upcoming international trips in 2015 include Austria, Japan and Argentina. National trips to Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York are also being booked. This year’s D.C. day trip will be to Seven Springs, Pa.

Chesapeake and Potomac Softball sent three teams to the Gay Softball World Series in Dallas and continued to provide league play in the open division and women’s division. They hosted their annual MAGIC Tournament and traveled to New York City and Cleveland for more tournament action.

The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club continued with multiple rowing programs and hosted the 21st annual Stonewall Regatta bringing about 400 rowers to D.C. The Strokes continued to race sprints and head races through the season and had great success at regattas in Grand Rapids and Cleveland.

The Capital Tennis Association hosted Capital Classic XXII and several players traveled the Gay & Lesbian Tennis Alliance World Tour stops. The group continues to host 20 leagues across four seasons and was honored by the United States Tennis Association’s D.C. branch as the 2014 Community Program of the year.

The Federal Triangles Soccer Club continued to host its annual tournaments, the Women’s Indoor Cup, the Rehoboth Beach Classic and the Turkey Bowl along with the Summer of Freedom soccer league. The squads traveled to tournaments in New York and Ohio. This year’s United Night OUT at RFK Stadium drew about 500 fans.

United Night Out, gay news, Washington Blade

United Night Out (Washington Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

Women’s full tackle football made its way into the LGBT sports community of D.C. with the Washington Prodigy becoming part of the Team D.C. Night OUT series. The Prodigy plays in the Independent Women’s Football League and competes against teams along the eastern seaboard.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club drew about 230 swimmers to their open water race, the 23rd annual Swim for Life which also raises funds for those living with HIV/AIDS and the Chester River Association. The swimmers competed at meets throughout the region and capped off its year with a successful trip to Cleveland.

The Washington Scandals Rugby Club did a lot of traveling this past year going to events in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chambersburg, Pa. Several team members partnered with another rugby team and headed to Sydney, Australia to compete in the Bingham Cup.

The D.C. Sentinels continue to host the Washington, D.C. Gay Basketball League along with pickup games twice a week. Members traveled the country playing in tournaments and picked up a win at the Coady Roundball Classic in Chicago.

Stonewall Sports offered league play in four different sports, Stonewall KickballStonewall BocceStonewall Darts and Stonewall Dodgeball. Combined, they are fast approaching 1,500 players.  Stonewall Kickball traveled to Las Vegas for tournament action and hosted its first tournament in July.

The Washington Wetskins water polo players hosted the Washington Wetskins Fall Invitational drawing teams from Richmond, Boston, New York and Montreal along with several local teams.  They also traveled to Cleveland for tournament action.

The D.C. Front Runners hosted the second annual Pride Run 5K drawing about 1,000 runners as part of the Capital Pride events. They continue to offer their walk, run and racing series and several of their runners competed throughout the region along with a trip to Cleveland.

LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade

The D.C. Front Runners performed a dance number following the Pride Run 5K. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club teams ended their fall season with the Blues squad finishing first in their division and making the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. The Reds squad finished second in their division and made the playoffs for the second time in its two year existence.

The Capital Area Rainbowlers Association continues to host nine fall/winter leagues along with three summer leagues. Along with hosting their annual Capital Holiday Invitational Tournament, the bowlers traveled the region competing in tournaments.

The biggest display of the prowess of the LGBT sports community of D.C. came at the 2014 Cleveland/Akron Gay Games where Team D.C. competed against more than 7,000 athletes from around the world and brought home 246 medals in 18 different sports.

Team DC, Cleveland Gay Games, gay news, Washington Blade

Team DC athletes medaled in 18 sports during last month’s Gay Games held in Cleveland/Akron. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Those sports were rowing, swimming, sailing, tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track & field, figure skating, open water swimming, rock climbing, golf, cycling, racquetball, road running, squash, bowling and triathlon.


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Las Vegas Raiders head coach resigns after homophobic emails surface

Discovery made during misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team



Courtesy of ESPN

LAS VEGAS — The head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden resigned his post Monday after an article in the New York Times reported that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the National Football League, (NFL).

The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team the Times reported, but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.

In a statement released by the team late Monday, Gruden said; “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

The sequence of events started last Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to the Washington team’s former executive Bruce Allen.

According to the Associated Press, Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.

A league source confirmed the accuracy of the emails to the Associated Press and said they were sent to the Raiders last week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t made the emails public.

The New York Times and the Associated Press both noted that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was “clueless” and “anti-football.” He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

Gruden’s abrupt resignation was announced live on the Colts/Ravens “Monday Night Football” broadcast when the NFL ran multiple LGBTQ-inclusive advertisements, including one featuring an NFL logo wrapped in the colors of the Trans Flag and Rainbow Flag Gay City News Editor Matt Tracy reported.

Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement which only said that he accepted Gruden’s resignation. In a separate statement the Raiders announced that special teams and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia will serve as Interim Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately.

“Coach Bisaccia will meet with the media at the regularly scheduled media availability on Wednesday,” the team said.

According to ESPN and the Associated Press, Bisaccia has been a special teams coordinator in the NFL for 19 seasons with the Raiders, Chargers, Dallas and Tampa Bay. He has no head coaching experience but his elevation will allow other assistants in the Raiders organization such as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to stay in their current roles.

Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders head coach | SC with SVP

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New Zealand university names trans athlete ‘sportswoman of the year’

Laurel Hubbard is first out trans woman to compete in Olympics



Screenshot via CBS Sports

DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named “sportswoman of the year” at the prestigious 113-year-old University of Otago and OUSA Blues and Golds Awards event this past week.

The 43-year-old Queenstown, South Island, native was the first openly transgender woman to compete in an Olympics when she competed in the women’s 87kg weightlifting event at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

In a statement to the local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, Hubbard said she was ‘‘grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University.’’

‘‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha [a Māori word meaning “love”] of friends, family and supporters.

‘‘This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey,’’ she told the paper.

Hubbard’s participation at the Tokyo Games had provoked controversy as she had prepared for competing as the world’s first out transgender woman Olympian. The director of medicine and science for the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Richard Budgett, directly addressed those who had attacked and mocked the New Zealander and claimed she shouldn’t be competing with cisgender women, saying  “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”

“To put it in a nutshell,” he said, “the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015. There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.”

Otago University Students’ Association president Michaela Waite-Harvey told the Otago Daily Times that the Blues awards aim to highlight Otago students excelling in their chosen sport.

‘‘We could think of no-one more worthy of sportswoman of the year than Laurel Hubbard who represented Otago and New Zealand incredibly well at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.’’

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Gold medalist Tom Daley battled COVID in hospital prior to Tokyo games

An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels



Tom Daley (Photo by via Bigstock)

LONDON – British Olympic champion diver Tom Daley acknowledged in an recent interview with British newspaper The Times, that he had been secretly rushed to hospital seven months prior to the summer Tokyo Olympic games after contracting the coronavirus.

Daley told the paper “[my] lungs felt pressurised, as if they had sacks of rice around them”, and added: “Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn’t get enough oxygen into my body.”

He went on to describe his ordeal in graphic details telling Times journalist Jane Mulkerrins that he gave specific instructions to his husband, screenwriter D. Lance Black one night as he headed off to sleep, what to do in the event he quit breathing.

He also told Mulkerrins he was frightened for their son Robbie if he and his husband both contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus, especially after he was rushed to hospital by ambulance unable to breath correctly.

When his head began to feel like it had “a vice tightening around it” and his “oxygen levels were dropping,” it was at that point Daley said he decided to call 111. [The UK’s emergency phone number]

‘My oxygen levels were dropping’

He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and put on oxygen. An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels, The Times reported.

“I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill,” said Daley.

“I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified.”

He also described his reasons for keeping his ordeal secret so that his rivals in his sport wouldn’t know.

The episode kept the Olympian diver out of training for nearly seven months although Daley along with his British teammate diving partner Matty Lee won the gold with a score of 471.81 in the men’s synchronized diving on at the Tokyo 2021 games.

After tough competition in the Men’s 10m platform diving from China’s Cao Yuan who picked up the Gold Medal and his teammate Yang Jian cinching the number two spot with a Silver Medal, the 27-year-old Daley secured a Bronze Medal win with a score of 548.25.

It was the second Olympic Bronze Medal for the Plymouth, England native, in individual diving completion since he won bronze at the London Games in 2012. Daley and his teammate Daniel Goodfellow won a Bronze Medal in the 10m synchronised at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The Times interview comes as the paper’s magazine is serializing Daley’s new book, Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, Fame and Fatherhood, which is due to be published by Harper Collins on October 14.

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