Out Olympian Blake Skjellerup is in
Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the 2014 Gay Games 9.
Nearly 8,000 athletes representing more
than 65 countries have descended on Cleveland and nearby Akron to
participate in the event's nearly 40 sporting events.
Skjellerup came out gay in 2010, after
he competed for New Zealand at the 2010 Winter Olympics, finishing
16th in short track speed skating.
helps open Gay Games 9.)
The 29-year-old Skjellerup will compete
in Tuesday's cycling circuit road course.
“I believe so strongly in the power
of and movement of sport,” Skjellerup told Cleveland daily The
Plain Dealer. “It brings people together and it's really
great. The Gay Games coming to Cleveland can really help open some
people's minds and change perspectives, especially at a time where
same-sex marriage isn't yet legal [in Ohio]. Hopefully it can open
that conversation. The conversation is already there, but it's about
getting that legislation through.”