Sunday, August 1, 2010
Team Nashville at Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony at Rhein Energie Stadion was truly inspiring as 10,000 participants from 70 countries marched into the arena to launch Gay Games VIII. The motto for these Games "Be part of it" says it all, emphasizing the importance of participation. The other key principles of the Games are inclusion, since competition is open to all, and personal best, since everyone strives for his or her absolute best performance regardless of the outcome. Dr. Tom Waddell, the founder of the Games, said, "The first Gay Games were an experiment in global unity and they were an experiment in education. They were also a vehicle for change." The same hold true 30 years later. Olympian and gold medalist Matthew Mitcham captured the spirit of these Games when he told the enthusiastic Cologne crowd, "In these Games we have no rivals, only comrades in unity." Here are a few pics from this special night. Let the Games begin!