Local Participants Reflect On Gay Games In Paris

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Although he lives in South Florida, Allen Eggman was a member of the San Francisco team for the annual Gay Games. Photo / courtesy

The Gay Games were good, Allen Eggman said Friday morning from his home in Tamarac, Florida.

The physical therapist competed in his sixth Gay Games this month in Paris. He took home four medals.

“It’s kind of a little reunion, that’s well attended,” Eggman said of the Gay Games.

Although he lives in South Florida, Eggman was a member of the San Francisco team.

“San Francisco has a very strong track and field club,” said Eggman who grew up in California. “It’s an amazingly tight group.”

Herb Diamond, a retired businessman in Fort Lauderdale, likes the Gay Games experience as well. His husband, John, was a medal winning cyclist in Paris this year.

John, 45, won silver and bronze for Ireland. Herb, 90, traveled with him to France to see him perform. “The Diamond Rings” as friends like to call them, married in 2013.

“It was great,” Herb said of his visit to the French capital. “I lived there for two years when I was 19 and singing and dancing at various places.”

At the closing ceremonies at Hotel de Ville in Paris, Chris Manning felt the spirit of the games.

“It’s a moment when you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself,” said Manning, 30, a Fort Lauderdale hospitality agent. “The most beautiful display of support and love that I’ve ever seen for a group of people.”

Manning, whose basketball team captured a second place medal under the Los Angeles banner, posted images of the French and rainbow flags with the words: “I’m proud to be me!”

The Gay Games, a worldwide cultural event, began in 1982 in San Francisco. Originally called the Gay Olympics, the Gay Games “serve to foster and augment self-respect of lesbians and gay men throughout the world and to engender respect and understanding from the non-gay world,” reads a purpose statement on the website of its sanctioning body, the Federation of Gay Games.

“I met people from Brazil, Sweden and Germany,” said Eggman.

Eggman, 57, took home a gold medal in the pole vault.

“Hard work pays off,” he said. “It’s great to come home with hardware.”

Gay Games XI is scheduled for Hong Kong in 2022.


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