Stephan Collet and Annete Wachter at Buli's
Stephan Collet and Annete Wachter at Buli’s

Representatives from the Gay Games spoke to potential participants on Monday night at Woody’s sports and video Bar and on Tuesday morning at Buli’s. The games will be help in Cologne, Germany on July 31­–August 7, 2010.

Annette Wachter and Stephan Collet are visiting nine cities in the United States to promote participation. They said that the event includes 34 team and individual sports as well as five cultural events.

Some of the events such as swimming, track & field or figure skating mirror Olympic competitions. Others include dancing and chess to include broader participation from the LGBT community. A few, such as bowling and physique have special appeal among the community.

Wachter said admission as a spectator to most events is free with the exception of the dance, bodybuilding and figure skating competitions.

Cultural events for the week are a band festival, choral festival cheerleading, visual arts and the International Rainbow Memorial Run.

Collet said to register for a sport first and then go to the Qubesport website to join a team.

Gay Games multi-medal winner Phil Johnson
Gay Games multi-medal winner Phil Johnson

The minimum age to participate is 16. Some competitions are divided by age categories. Phil Johnson, who has attended five Gay Games and plans to compete as a swimmer in Cologne, has won about 20 medals.

For a list of sports included in the games, go to the Gay Games Web site

To register to participate, go to the Gay Games Web site and click the “Register Now” button.

To become a member of Team Dallas, after registering for one or more events, go to the Qubesport Web site and join an individual team.

Traveling around Cologne is easy on their tram system. The trams run both above ground and as a subway in parts of the city (most similar to Boston’s trams). A public transportation pass for the duration of the games is included in the registration fee.

Team Dallas representative Jere Becker said the group is arranging airline discounts and will contract with a hotel in Cologne for a group rate.

Wachter said Cologne’s central location makes traveling to the city easy. She recommended flying to Frankfurt and taking high-speed train to Cologne. The train station is in the airport and the trip between cities is 50 minutes. American Airlines and Lufthansa fly non-stop from Dallas to Frankfurt.

Collet said after the games, travel to other European cities is cheap on some of their discount airlines. He said a flight from Cologne to Berlin is currently 20 euros (about $30). Paris, he said, is a quick four-hour train trip and also suggests Amsterdam as a popular trip from the city.

— David Taffet

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