Making a Splash at the Gay Games
By Seth Harrington
When my swim-teammates first mentioned the Gay Games to me late last year, visions of drag queens racing in stiletto heels floated through my mind. Then I noticed how diligently all the guys on the team were preparing and I too began to strive for my best. Eight months later, I was trained, toned, and psyched. Ahead of me was a week in which I would compete with other gay athletes from around the globe, who had worked just as hard as I to be there. The following are five highlights from a week of competition that challenged and profoundly moved me.
The 50m Fly
My goggles had flown off during my breaststroke. I had inhaled water during my 200 IM and almost didn't finish. 'It's just a bunch of homosexuals swimming,' said one of my friends, trying to cheer me up. But for me, the slogan of the games'Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best'had made an impression. I wanted these races and none more than the one coming up, the 50m Fly.
The whistle blew, and tugging at my goggle straps, I mounted the block. On my mark, I coiled my body. My vision narrowed until the only thing I could see was the black lane line shimmering beneath the water. All I could smell was steamy chlorine. The gunshot went off, and I sprung through the air and entered the water. Instantly my body engaged, stretching out. My arms reached forward. My legs kicked powerfully.
I found my rhythm and everything else slipped away, drowned by the sole goal of reaching the far wall. In 50 meters, it was done. I won my heat and placed fifth overall. Most importantly though, I shaved three seconds off my time, a new personal record for me.
- WATCH: The First Trailer For HBO's Adaptation Of 'The Normal Heart'
- Scott Bakula, Looking's Gay Daddy, Talks About Quantum Leap & His Favorite Flower
- Exclusive: Behind the Scenes Footage of 2(X)IST’s Spring/Summer 2014 Collection
- Spectrum: 14 Queer Models
- The 30 Sexiest Gay Scenes In Film
- Straight Actor Raúl Castillo Plays Richie on Looking: He Talks About the New HBO Series