Signing Ceremony Makes 2006 Gay Games Official

Fri. March 19, 2004 12:00 AM

International Officials Travel to Chicago for Ceremony and Festivities

Chicago, IL - Chicago Gay Games organizers and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) marked the official beginning of the run-up to Gay Games VII in 2006 today with an official signing ceremony at 11 am at the W Hotel-City Center in downtown Chicago. FGG Co-Presidents Roberto Mantaci (Paris, France) and Kathleen Webster (Philadelphia, PA, USA) traveled to Chicago for the ceremony and a weekend of benefit events including a special appearance with rock star Melissa Etheridge, as Chicago kicks off its status as Host of Gay Games VII.

The Bid – The Process
In a bidding process that ended March 2, Chicago won over the hearts and minds of the FGG delegates by presenting a fiscally prudent and sports-centered plan for Gay Games VII. Chicago’s successful bid was accompanied by a concurrent two-month-long negotiation of the proposed License Agreement, the legal document that grants the right to host the Gay Games to the Host city. Led by Chicago’s attorney Gary Medler and his partners at the Chicago-based law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson, the concurrent negotiations mean that the FGG and Chicago were able to conclude the negotiations in record time. At the signing ceremony, Chicago was represented by Sue Connolly and Dennis Sneyers, Co-Chairs of Chicago Games, Inc. (CGI) with witnesses on hand from the CGI Board of Directors, government officials, community leaders, and local LGBT sports officials.

Joy in Chicago
“As excited as we were to win the FGG vote on 2 March,” said Kevin Boyer, Chicago Games, Inc. (CGI) spokesperson, “we understood from the moment we agreed to bid for the 2006 Gay Games that the successful negotiation of a License Agreement would mark our first step as official Host of Gay Games VII. The trust and transparency that marked these negotiations has become a hallmark of the relationship between the FGG and CGI. Both of our organizations are committed to a financially successful event that continues the legacy of Dr. Tom Waddell and the Gay Games. Gay Games VII will inspire thousands worldwide to achieve their personal best, joining together across borders that have often separated us. Borders of race, gender, sexual orientation, language, national borders, even the borders of warring nations can be crossed through the camaraderie of the international LGBT sports movement, and through our cherished Gay Games traditions. The world’s athletes can now focus with joy on a bright future for the Gay Games and the LGBT sports movement.”

Signing Ceremony
"The Signing Ceremony is important because it marks the formal moment we entrust to the Chicago the Federation’s symbols, history and traditions,” said Roberto Mantaci. “This handover makes Chicago the proud successor to a twenty-plus year tradition of the gay and lesbian sporting communities of the world coming together in a community-based, grassroots event celebrating lesbian and gay sport – the Gay Games. The License Agreement itself enshrines the balance between Chicago as the custodian of the tradition for its Games, and the Federation as the custodian of the Gay Games movement over the long term. Each has a vital part to play in keeping the vision of the Gay Games pioneers alive and fresh."

About the Games
Gay Games VII will take place July 15-22, 2006. Chicago will be the 6th city to host the Gay Games following San Francisco (1982 and 1986), Vancouver, Canada (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998) and Sydney (2002). The Gay Games was created in 1982 by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic athlete who envisioned an international gay and lesbian event based upon the principles of inclusion, participation, and personal best. The Gay Games seek to challenge negative stereotypes and strengthen the international gay and lesbian community. The Gay Games welcomes all people without regard to their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political belief(s), athletic, artistic ability, age, physical challenge, or health status.

Chicago Games, Inc. (CGI) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors. For further information or to volunteer, visit or email

The Federation of Gay Games perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and safeguards its founding principles of inclusion, participation and personal best. An all-volunteer organization, the Federation is made up of individuals and organizations representing four continents. Originally a board comprised solely of individual directors, the Federation today is an "organization comprised of organizations": almost 80 percent of the board is comprised of the voting delegates from director organizations. For further information, visit