The End of the Beginning

GGIV wrap-up story by Joe Clark

by Joe Clark

First published 1994

Gay Games IV & Cultural Festival was, in the broadest terms, a rip-roaring success. Records were set, no serious injuries were reported, events operated more or less smoothly (though usually on Gay People's Time-- i.e., late), and fair play was generally the order of the day. At a purely pragmatic level, though, New York was the worst possible place to hold Gay Games IV. The life-sapping heat and humidity, the crowds, and especially the interminable commutes from one far-off venue to another all conspired to make competing in or simply watching the Games a wearying, burdensome experience.

But New York's status as a media and cultural nexus worked brilliantly in the Games' favour, lending it mainstream credibility (in daily coverage in the Times, the Daily News, USA Today, and elsewhere) while still holding up Games founder Tom Waddell's ideals of participation, inclusiveness, and pursuit of personal best.

Watching the Games was like peering at a chunk of a hologram: The whole of the event was visible through a fragment thereof, though you may have had to crane your neck a little. Even with a nearly-all-access press pass, no one could possibly visit all 31 of the sports played during the Games. Some representative impressions from the eight sports I did see:

See you in Amsterdam in '98.

Back to the Joe Clark main page, or to the list of available sports articles.