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German Cycling Champions Petra Rossner and Judith Arndt Join Gay Games Ambassadors

By Ross von Metzke

(San Francisco, CA) - German Olympic medalists Petra Rossner and Judith Arndt have become the latest world class athletes to be named Gay Games Ambassadors.

The international cyclist stars will support the sport in 2006’s Chicago games. Cyclo-cross and road races have been a part of the games since its inception in 1982. In this year’s games, competitions will be held in criterium, mountain biking, road race and time trials.

"We are both really pleased to get the opportunity to support the Gay Games as Ambassadors," said Arndt, after recently completing several months of training with Nuernberger Versicherung in preparation for the 2005 professional season.

Already a supporter of the Sydney Gay Games in 2002, Rossner said, "It's our goal to bring the Gay Games to the world's attention, to get more people to know about this event and the whole idea behind the Gay Games. Knowing that cycling has always been a big part only makes us happier to tell people about the Gay Games."

Rossner, 38, recently ended her 20-year professional cycling career, including 25 German national titles, 10 World Cup victories, an Olympic gold medal in the pursuit at Barcelona in 1992 and a world championship win in the pursuit at Stuttgart in 1991.

Arndt, 28, ended the 2004 season with a gold medal win in the Elite women's road race and the silver time trial medal at the UCI world championships. Arndt's gold was the first win by a German woman in the world championship road race in more than 20 years.

At the Athens Summer Olympic Games two months earlier, Arndt won a silver medal in the women's road race and made headlines around the world for giving a one-finger salute to the German cycling federation for leaving Rossner off the 2004 Olympic team.

Arndt and Rossner were in a committed relationship at the time, but most coverage by international press printed the fact of their being live-in girlfriends almost as a sidelight to the incident itself.

“Cycling is our first love, of course, but there is a sport for almost everyone at the Gay Games," said Rossner. "We can't think of a better goal to set than to get fit and take part in an event that does so much on behalf of the gay and lesbian community around the world.”

Federation of Gay Games co-president Kathleen Webster praised Rossner's and Arndt's achievements and said, "We're honored that Petra and Judith are becoming Ambassadors in the middle of their ongoing professional careers. Their openness and enthusiasm about the goals of the Gay Games are an inspiration and I'm sure will earn them many new fans.”

For information about the Federation of Gay Games, go to www.gaygames.org. For information about Gay Games VII in Chicago in 2006, including details on how to register, go to GayGamesChicago.org.

© 2005 Gay Sports.com, All Rights Reserved

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