Sir Elton John Becomes Gay Games Ambassador

Fri. November 11, 2005 12:00 AM

Global superstar joins others in support of the quadrennial sport and cultural event

San Francisco, CA - The Federation of Gay Games is proud to announce that Sir Elton John has become a Gay Games Ambassador.

Sir Elton said, "I am thrilled to be involved with the Gay Games. For more than two decades the Gay Games have turned a well-deserved spotlight on athletic and cultural performances by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their friends from around the world."

The Gay Games Ambassadors are an international group of prominent individuals supporting the goals and principles of the quadrennial Gay Games. First held in 1982, Gay Games VII takes place in Chicago, USA from 15-22 July 2006.

Music has always been at the centre of the Gay Games, from band and choral events to the always-inspirational opening and closing ceremonies, with numerous pop, classical, jazz, R&B, country and other styles featuring prominently in other performances throughout a Gay Games week.

The broad range of musical disciplines showcased at every Gay Games makes support of the event a natural fit for a legendary talent such as Sir Elton John.

"Thousands of musicians have participated in the cultural festivals of the Gay Games", said Sir Elton. "I’m proud of them and what they have accomplished at the Games and in their home communities. Along with the athletic participants, they challenge the stereotypes from which oppression grows and consequently bring the world closer together".

Sir Elton John’s career has spanned more than 35 years as one of the world's most successful touring artists and one of the top-selling solo artists of all time. He has sold close to a quarter of a billion records worldwide, with more than 100 U.S. Hot 100 chart singles, 12 multi-platinum, 23 platinum and 33 gold U.S. albums, and 29 consecutive U.K. Top 40 hits, earning 35 gold and 25 platinum albums.

Among countless honours, Sir Elton has received multiple Grammys including the Grammy Legend Award. He collaborated with lyricist Tim Rice to create the soundtrack to the Walt Disney Pictures blockbuster "The Lion King", for which "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" won an Academy Award. Recently, Sir Elton was recognised in Los Angeles for his contribution to music and humanitarian efforts by the Society of Singers who presented him their prestigious annual ELLA award.

In the last 15 years, Sir Elton has become a noted humanitarian, particularly for starting the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of programs for AIDS prevention, for the elimination of prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, and for providing services to people living with or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

"The Gay Games also have always focused attention on matters of HIV and AIDS, and they continue to do so through events such as the International Rainbow Run", said Sir Elton. "Many people living with HIV and AIDS have been full participants and some have even set world records. It’s a wonderful event that encourages fitness and personal best for people of all ages and abilities".

"We feel truly honoured that Sir Elton John has accepted our invitation to become an Ambassador for the Gay Games", said Roberto Mantaci, Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games. "For many years, he has been an ‘ambassador’ for the entire LGBT community, particularly through his charitable work, and his contribution has been immense".

"We look forward to working with him to spread the word to more people in the world about the Gay Games", Mantaci said. "It is also no understatement to say that Sir Elton maintains a performing schedule requiring fitness and endurance that should inspire anyone now in training for next year’s events in Chicago".

The Gay Games Ambassadors program was started prior to the 2002 Gay Games VI in Sydney. Charter members were actor Judith Light, Olympic gold medal swimmer Bruce Hayes, former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel, and photographer Tom Bianchi. In addition to Sir Elton John, the Gay Games Ambassadors now also include cycling champions and Olympic medalists Petra Rössner and Judith Arndt, former U.S. professional football players Dave Kopay and Esera Tuaolo, tennis legend Billie Jean King, rock star Melissa Etheridge, actor/director Amanda Bearse, powerlifter Chris Morgan, former professional baseball player Billy Bean, champion figure skater Rudy Galindo, Olympic trampoline champion Ji Wallace, and Leigh-Ann Naidoo, South African Olympic beach volleyball player.

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

Photo courtesy: Elton John AIDS Foundation