BY HEATHER CASSELL
Cleveland officially rolled out the rainbow carpet to Gay Games 9 athletes this month with the opening of early hotel reservations and a preview of the city’s iconic Terminal Tower lit in rainbow colors. Hollie M. Ksiezyk, co-chair of the Gay Games 9 and an out lesbian, says that Cleveland’s LGBT and ally community is ready to welcome the estimated 25,000 visitors from around the U.S. and the world for the games, which take place August 9-16, 2014.
Started in 1982 by the late Dr. Tom Waddell in San Francisco, the Gay Games’ goal is to foster a healthy sporting competition among LGBT and ally athletes from around the world. The games are governed by the Federation of Gay Games and hosted in a different city every four years. Cleveland marks the fifth time the games have been hosted in the U.S.