Organizers of 2014 Gay Games Reach Out to Sochi Sponsors

Quadrennial Event Emphasizes Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best(TM)

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2013) - The organizers of the 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation have reached out to corporate sponsors of the 204 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia inviting them to demonstrate their commitment to diversity in sports by becoming sponsors of next year's Gay Games. The Gay Games, one of the world's largest inclusive multi-sporting events, will take place in Cleveland+Akron, Ohio, with an expected 10,000 participants competing in 36-plus sport and cultural events.

"Russia's anti-gay laws serve as a global reminder of why the Gay Games, begun more than 30 years ago, are needed today," says Steve Sokany, co-chair of the 2014 Gay Games. "As long as LGBT athletes are not free to compete openly everywhere in the world, the Gay Games are a necessity. They reinforce the value of allowing people to participate in sports as their true selves without fear of legal and/or social repercussions."

Organizers of the 2014 Gay Games have joined the LGBT Sport Coalition in inviting all those affiliated with the Olympics, from the International Olympic Committee to the media covering the Russia games, to discuss the repressive anti-gay laws in the host country and work so all LGBT Olympians are able to compete openly, proudly and without any negative consequences.

"The Gay Games were founded by Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell as a 'vehicle of change.' That mission continues today," says Hollie Ksiezyk, co-chair of the 2014 Gay Games.

"The Gay Games' motto is Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™. The Gay Games are open to all adults regardless of sexual orientation or athletic ability," says Ksiezyk. "We already are seeing the world come together in that spirit."

To date, Gay Games 9, the organization planning and implementing the 2014 Gay Games, has heard back from three of the 24 corporations that were contacted. All three declined to become sponsors. "We are hopeful that among the remaining corporations we have not yet heard from that there are several who will step up and show their support for the ideals of the Gay Games," says Sokany.

About the Gay Games
The Gay Games is an international sporting and cultural event held every four years under the founding principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™. Launched in 1982, the Games invite participation from everybody, regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status.

The Games are intended to bring a global community together in friendship, to experience participation, to elevate consciousness and self-esteem, and to achieve a form of cultural and intellectual synergy. The Gay Games is open to anyone 18 years or older. About 10 percent of participants are from outside the LGBT community.

The 2014 Gay Games presented by the Cleveland Foundation will be August 9-16, 2014, in venues around Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, in the United States. More than 35 sports and culture events will be held, with more than 11,000 people from more than 60 countries expected to participate. For more information, visit, or

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

Cleveland+Akron, Ohio, will host the quadrennial Gay Games from August 9-16, 2014. They recently reached out to USOC sponsors to ask for their support of inclusive sporting event.

To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to and enter Release ID: 361873

Contact Information:

Ann Gynn
2014 Gay Games
Phone: (216) 479-6469