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YEAR IN REVIEW 2015: Sports (Victories at home and abroad)

Local LGBT sports leagues enjoy banner year



LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade
LGBT sports, gay news, Washington Blade

The new year is shaping up to be huge for the Washington Scandals Rugby Team. In May they had to Nashville for the Bingham Cup. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

It was another stellar year for the LGBT sports teams of Washington. The strength of the sports community can be seen in the performances of the athletes when they travel nationally and internationally to compete. The social aspect of the community continues to expand as many of the teams are sharing mixers and the athletes are crossing over to other sports.

The Washington Scandals Rugby Football Club continued their path of competing in tournaments and arranging matches with other rugby clubs. This fall they traveled to Charleston, S.C.; New York City and Atlanta. In May, the Scandals will go to Nashville for the Bingham Cup.

It was a great first year for D.C. Pride Volleyball League as they completed their first two seasons of their competitive league and hosted open play on Wednesday nights. They also hosted the Rehoboth Beach Open and Presidents Pride Cup tournaments.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League had another great year wrapping up two more seasons, traveling to tournaments and hosting Beach Bowl in July in Rehoboth Beach, Del. In October they will host Gay Bowl XVI and welcome teams from all over the country.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club again hosted the Maryland Swim for Life open water race, the Columbus Classic and traveled to the EuroGames in Stockholm, Sweden where they won 125 medals. In August they will travel to Edmonton, Canada for the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics Championships.

Ski Bums spent 2015 skiing and snowboarding in powder around the United States and other parts of the world. International trips in 2016 include New Zealand, Japan, Italy and British Columbia. National trips to Montana, New York, Vermont, Oregon and Montana are also being booked. This year’s D.C. day trip will be announced soon.

Chesapeake and Potomac Softball sent multiple teams to the Gay Softball World Series in Columbus, Ohio in August where the D.C. Union team took third place. They also continued to provide league play in the open division and women’s division. They hosted their annual MAGIC Tournament and traveled to New Orleans; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Providence, R.I.; and Orlando, Fla., for more tournament action.

The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club continued with multiple rowing programs and hosted the 22nd annual Stonewall Regatta bringing about 400 rowers to D.C. The Strokes raced sprints and head races throughout the year and had a great showing at the U.S. Masters Rowing Championships in August in Camden, N.J.

The Capital Tennis Association hosted Capital Classic XXIII and the event was once again live streamed on the CCE Sports Network. The group continues to host 20 leagues across four seasons and players have been traveling to tournaments around the world on the Gay & Lesbian Tennis Alliance World Tour

The Federal Triangles Soccer Club continued to host their 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 also traveled to tournaments and in August they sent two teams to the 2015 IGLFA North American Championship II in Verona, Wis., and won in the championship match. This year’s United Night OUT at RFK Stadium, which is co-hosted by the Triangles, drew 500 members from the LGBT community.

Women’s full tackle football with the Washington Prodigy is a 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 D.C. Sentinels continue to host the Washington D.C. Gay Basketball League along with pickup games twice a week. They also traveled to tournaments in Chicago, San Diego and Dallas.

Stonewall Sports offered league play in four different sports, Stonewall Kickball, Stonewall Bocce, Stonewall Darts and Stonewall Dodgeball. Stonewall Kickball traveled to Las Vegas for tournament action and this past July hosted the Stonewall Kickball Summer Tournament.

The Washington Wetskins water polo players hosted the Columbus Day Classic tournament and also traveled to various tournaments throughout the country. They also traveled to the EuroGames in Stockholm, Sweden where they took fifth place in the competitive division.

The D.C. Front Runners hosted the third annual Pride Run 5K drawing about 1,200 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 in races.

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.

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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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