Approximately 10,000 athletes marched
in Saturday's parade of athletes as Gay Games 2010 officially kicked
off inside Cologne, Germany's RheinEnergie Stadium.
The week-long celebration of sport
opened with an amazing 2-hour program that featured Matthew Mitcham,
the 22-year-old openly gay Australian Olympic gold medal diver,
speaking the oath of the athletes, and performances by gay icon
Taylor Dayne and Swedish Idol winner Agnes Carlsson.
Surrounded by fire dancers, Dayne
closed the ceremonies with a performance of her new song, Facing a
Miracle, to benefit the games.
Germany's openly gay foreign minister,
Guido Westerwelle, presided over the celebration.
Gay sports website Outsports
is reporting that competition began on Sunday with cycling, skating
and a triathlon.
“The 30+ sports kick off Sunday.
There is a cluster of about half of them located in the same area as
the Opening Ceremonies were held. It will make it super-convenient
for fans and athletes to see a lot of sports in a short time; it's a
terrific idea for what we hope is a terrific event,” site owner Jim
Cleveland, Ohio is scheduled to host
the 2014 iteration of the games, but irregularities in the city's bid
prepared by the Cleveland Synergy Foundation have threatened the
group's participation in sponsoring the event. The Cleveland
Plain Dealer reported Friday that Synergy representatives were
noticeably absent from the city's delegation traveling to Cologne.
Synergy has vowed to fight on. In a statement released Friday,
the group said it was sending a four-man delegation to receive the
Gay Games' flag during the games' closing ceremony, as planned.