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Gay Games Draw To Close

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Gay Games Draw To Close

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

July 23, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Chicago, Illinois) Tears of joy ran down the cheeks of athletes and fans Saturday night as the 2006 Gay Games drew to a climactic close at Wrigley Field.

For organizers there was a collective sigh of relief - the games went off without a hitch despite near record breaking heat throughout the week. And these have been the most successful and profitable in the history of games.

The Federation of Gay Games Flag was slowly lowered and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley escorted it for the ceremonial transfer to an official from Cologne, Germany, the host city of the 2010 Gay Games.

Athletes from some 60 countries embraced one another - some may never see one another again, others made promises to catch up in 2010, and others said they would see each other in Montreal in a week's time for the first Outgames.

On stage, gay icon Cyndi Lauper headlined the closing show, along with Ari Gold, ANT, and singing duo Jason & deMarco.

Lauper was dressed as a rainbow Statue of Liberty and performed some of her most memorable disco hits.

"Stand proud! Stand together," she told the crowd launching into a medley that included "True Colors" and "Shine".

In the stands, fans tossed around hundreds of rainbow-colored beach balls handed out as a promotion by the Illinois Lottery.

The 2006 Gay Games were to have been held in Montreal but that city dropped out following a squabble with the FGG which licenses the games.

Chicago was selected several weeks later, but some critics doubted if the local organizing committee could pull it off. They did, brining in more financial support from major corporations than any previous Gay Games and likely to be the first games to finish in the black.

When Montreal quit the FGG it organized its own competing event. The Opening Ceremonies will take place on July 29.

©365Gay.com 2006

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