Photos: Mamarazza (dancing), Joerg Nisi (cheer), XRISPICS (wrestling)
Athletes and athletic supporters alike will be flocking to Cleveland for the 2014 Gay Games to compete, cheer on their favorites, or get fired up for contests of their own. (BYO wrestling singlet.) In the spirit of competition, we break down five need-to-know events at this year's competition.
With four divisions — mass, group, individual, and Spirit Spectacular (comprised of Show Cheer, Partner Stunt Cheer, Group Stunt Cheer, and Spirit Exhibition) — there’s plenty of room for intense competition and an overdose of spirit. Bring it on!
Risk: 3 Outfits: 1 Difficulty: 3
While fans may be tempted to flock to the Argentine Tango, it’s the Line Dance that’s the real draw. Popular line dances — Chill Factor, Cowgirls and Switches, Hey Soul Sister — set to the likes of Queen Latifah and Anastacia, test dancers’ precision while sassing up a longtime country tradition.
Risk: 2 Outfits: 3 Difficulty: 3
This year, the Gay Games is partnering with the International Gay Rodeo Association to bring experienced cowboys (and some greenhorns) from all over the world to test their mettle on the backs of bucking bulls, hookies, and honkers. Plus: form-fitting Wranglers.
Risk: 5 Outfits: 3 Difficulty: 5
Wrestling and Grappling
Two wrestlers in skintight singlets using sheer strength to wrestle each other to the ground? Whew. We need a minute. The real essence of grappling is all about submission — and leaving your opponent with no other option. We could say don’t try any of these athletes’ moves at home, but why not?
Risk: 4 Outfits: 5 Difficulty: 4
Band / Choral
More than 150 performers and musicians undergo three days of rehearsal before performing for nearly 1,500 fans in this non-competitive event, with performances at the State Theatre. Get your band camp stories ready.
Risk: 1 Outfits: 2 Difficulty: 4