A History of The Gay GamesThe Gay Games were started by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlon competitor in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Tom Waddell envisioned a sporting event to show the world that gays and lesbians are normal and have the ability to compete at a high level of sport. The first games were scheduled for 1982 in San Francisco.
The Gay Games were originally called the Gay Olympic Games. But a few weeks before the opening, the United States Olympic Committee obtained an injunction in federal court prohibiting the use of the word "Olympic". The organizers fought this in the courts, but eventually lost, even though the word Olympics is used by numerous groups including: Special Olympics, Police Olympics, Nude Olympics, Dog Olympics, and many others.
Since 1982, the games have been known as The Gay Games. Events have been held every four years.
The Gay Games/World Outgames SplitIn 2001 the Federation of Gay Games (the organizing body of the Gay Games) selected Montreal to host the 2006 Gay Games. However the Montreal Committee and the Federation were having a hard time agreeing on a contract. At stake was the control and scope of the event. In November 2003, Montreal walked away from negotiations and decided to hold their own international gay sporting event. A new governing body was formed called Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) It was originally called Rendez-Vous Montreal 2006, but was later changed to Outgames. In the meantime, the Federation of Gay Games named Chicago as the new host of the 2006 Gay Games.