Thursday, July 30, 2009
We have been very busy the past couple of days at the Osterbro Stadium track, where fortunately the only fireworks have been for celebrations. Keith faced some stiff competition in the javelin but threw the winning toss to capture the gold medal! The conditions were not ideal with occasional rain showers and swirling wind, but he found a way to win on the fifth out of six tosses. Keith then picked up a silver medal at the shot put to add to the silver medal he won yesterday in the hammer. Highly decorated and exhausted, Keith is looking forward to a day of rest and sightseeing around Copenhagen tomorrow before cheering me on at the triathlon on Saturday. "Godnat" from Copenhagen! Sam
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The incident yesterday did not dampen our spirits for long. The local press calls the explosive devices "maroons" which are high-powered fireworks capable of injuring at close range. The attackers could clearly see from the tower that one person was injured and then launched the second round of explosives. This was clearly more than a prank, and one person is still in custody. Friends report that the injured runner from Seattle is going to be all right after surgery to his hand. Local authorities recognize the seriousness of this homophobic "hate crime" and promise to have increased security at the rest of the events.
We are returning to the track today where Keith will throw the hammer and defend his gold medal. Thanks to all who have expressed concern and support. Sam and Keith
The camaraderie of the Outgames was temporarily broken this afternoon when unknown assailants tossed two explosive devices onto the track during the start of a relay. One runner who was in a starting position near the explosions sustained a minor injury to his hand and was treated at the scene by paramedics. The large crowd of athletes and spectators was stunned by what can only be described as a hate crime attack. Competition resumed after consulting with the athletes who were determined not to let this incident succeed in stopping the Outgames. Police were called to the scene and were searching the premises when two more devices exploded on the track. Shortly thereafter the police arrested a suspect who was seen fleeing from a nearby church tower where it is believed the attack was launched. Police are still searching for a second suspect.
We are all stunned by this turn of events. Locals tell us that Denmark, which is known world wide for its openness and diversity, has been plagued recently by increased hate crimes and violence aimed at gays and lesbians. Of course, we are also determined that this will not stop or spoil the Outgames.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thousands of spectators crammed the square in front of Copenhagen Town Hall to watch the parade of nations, including over 6,500 athletes from 90 countries. Music, dance, acrobatics and did I say music, created an impressive extravaganza to kick off the Outgames. Before the parade we mingled with athletes from all over the world and renewed friendships with competitors we met in Montreal at the first Outgames three years ago as well as the Gay Games we have competed in through the years. It was truly inspirational to see so many people having so much fun just being themselves. The most touching moment was the introduction of an elderly couple and long-time partners who were the first same sex couple in the world to enter into a registered domestic partnership 20 years ago, right here in Copenhagen on the very spot. The evening kicked off a great week and captured the Outgames theme: Love of Freedom and Freedom to Love. Hej hej, Keith and Sam
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
That's me in the white cap during the swim in Montreal. It will be a lot colder in Copenhagen, so I trained Saturday in my wet suit. It is really strange because the suit makes me float on top of the water. That should help! Also biked the killer hills in Percy Warner Park on Saturday. That is where I used to train when I started this madness 15 years ago. A lot of soreness thanks to the final days of training.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here I am coming out of the water in the Mach Tenn last month. It has been a hot summer with lots of pool time. However, the swim at the Outgames will be in the chilly Copenhagen harbor! To get used to the salt water and waves, last week I swam in the ocean several times. It was a real adventure with the waves tossing me around. Another challenge will be the cool weather. Just checked Copenhagen and it will be in the high-60's! Yikes! Tonight I dusted off my wet suit and will swim in it tomorrow. What additional challenges lie ahead? Stay tuned.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This blog will chronicle Keith and Sam's great adventure competing in the World OutGames 2009 in Copenhagen from July 25 to Aug. 5th. The World OutGames is an olympics style international sports festival with 38 sports and over 6,500 athletes. There is also a cultural and human rights component, and lots of grand parties, as you might imagine. This is our fifth time to compete internationally, and we know that a great time awaits us in Scandanavia.
Keith will throw the javelin and hammer, and he is the defending gold medalist in both events, thanks to stellar performances three years ago in Montreal at the first OutGames. Keith has been training hard in the heat at the Vanderbilt track and is throwing well despite another knee surgery during the past year. Thankfully, he has a high threshold of pain, and he is the most competitive person I know. Look for big things from Keith at this OutGames.
I will compete in the triathlon to be held at the harbor in Copenhagen. I have been anxious about this event for two reasons. First, two years ago I tore my left hamstring and wondered if I would ever run again, much less be able to get back into triathlons. After months of rehab and many painful miles on the road, I feel like I am back. Second, in Montreal I recorded a personal best, and that motivates me to do well in this event. Of course, for me the goal is to finish strong, have fun and don't get hurt. With two triathlons under my belt this summer, I should be fine.
Check out the OutGames at www.copenhagen2009.org.