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From August 9 – 16, the International Gay Games take up residence in Cleveland and Akron in what promises to be an inclusive sporting and cultural event. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz will be on the ground, covering the athletes, LGBT issues and interviewing the people who have come from around the world to compete and have fun. For more breaking news and images, follow the station on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Hashtag your tweets and images with #gg9WKSU!


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WKSU Gay Games 9 on Tumblr
For more breaking news and images, follow the station on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Are the Gay Games a victim of its own success?
The evolving attitude towards the gay community makes some wonder how much longer the games will be relevant

After a week of swimming, darts and dozens of other competitions that were part of the 9th International Gay Games, thousands of athletes proudly marched from the Cleveland Convention Center across the street to Mall C for closing ceremonies. They were embracing, cheering, and waving flags…many with their gold, silver and bronze medals clanging around their necks. And many were chanting “Thank you Cleveland!” WKSU's Amanda Rabinowitz on the future of the Gay Games.
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Local artists capture the colors and spirit of the Gay Games
The Gay Games have included a visual aspect created by many local artists and photographers who say they hope the impact lasts beyond the week.

Aside from the guts and glory of the dozens of sporting events, the Gay Games have been about showcasing the region’s arts and culture. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports on the visual side of the games, from a vibrant graffiti display to a church wall filled with photographs of families.
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Like any family, the Gay Games has its generation gaps
An older generation of Gay Games participants say they have plenty to offer

The International Gay Games puts a spotlight on equality, diversity and freedom of expression. And that’s a theme that’s widely celebrated by many LGBT youth of today, who live in a more progressive world. But for some of the older gays and lesbians involved with the games, that journey hasn’t been an easy one. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports.
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Churches come together to welcome and include Gay Games athletes
From sponsoring the Games to athletes themselves, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and others become part of the event

LGBT issues are often divisive topics among faith leaders of mainline denominations. But, many of those churches have come together to make sure Cleveland and Akron are welcoming International Gay Games athletes this week. And, as WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports, those religious leaders say they hope the movement grows after the games.
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Gay Games rodeo: Changing stereotypes
International Gay Rodeo Association is part of the Gay Games for the first time

For the past two days, the Summit County Fairgrounds were filled with cowboy hats and rainbows. The International Gay Rodeo Association held a competition as part of the Gay Games for the first time in its 32-year history. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports.
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From Guam to Africa, Gay Games athletes compete for equality
Some of the thousands of athletes from all over the world are here for fun, others to spread their message to the world

Thousands of people from all over the world are hoping to win gold medals at this week’s International Gay Games in Cleveland and Akron. But, above winning, most people are here hoping to make a change that will impact their countries and the world. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports.
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Prepping for the Gay Games: Changing hearts, neighborhoods and bus routes
Organizers are hoping the planning – from the pragmatic to the philosophical – last well beyond the week-long Gay Games.

About 10,000 people from more than 50 countries are arriving in Northeast Ohio for the Gay Games. The week-long Olympic-style event has been in the planning stages for nearly five years. And, preparing for a diverse blend of cultures and backgrounds has been unlike anything this region has experienced.
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Gay Games 9 FAQ
Answers to your Gay Games 9 questions

The Gay Games begin Saturday, August 9th with opening ceremonies. We have the answers for anything you want to know about the events! Anything you want to know? Comment below and we'll get back to you!
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Registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends Monday at midnight
Gay Games 9 will be held in the northeast Ohio region August 9-16

Registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends tonight at midnight. More than 50 different countries are expected to be represented in the games, which begin on August 9th.

Rob Smitherman, director of events and operations for the 2014 games, says northeast Ohioans have been very welcoming thus far.
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Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
Some of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport's fleet of cab drivers refuse to advertise the games due to religious reasons

An agreement has been reached between cab companies at Cleveland Hopkins Airport whose drivers have refused to sport placards advertising the upcoming Gay Games.  Cleveland Hopkins says two of the three taxi companies operating there were informed by several drivers that they will no longer participate in the airport’s dedicated cab program because of religious reasons. The airport said plans are in the works to replace the drivers in the 75-cab Hopkins fleet. Metered taxi cabs will be used until permanent drivers are hired. 

Tom Nobbe is the executive director of the Gay Games. He says the reaction by the small group of cab drivers is not representative of Cleveland as a whole.
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Cleveland Gay Games organizers are buying TV ads for the first time
Gay Games IX will be the first to air TV spots in the games' 32-year history, and they'll be on NBC stations during tonight's Sochi Olympics

In a first for the Gay Games in its 32-year history, organizers are publicizing the event by buying TV ad time. As WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports, the placement – during tonight’s Sochi Olympics – has a dual purpose.
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Recent hate crimes have the LGBT community on edge on the eve of the Gay Games
Two recent hate crimes targeting gay men in Cleveland have activists, politicians and police working together on strengthening relationships, awareness and laws.

Northeast Ohio enters the new year as host of the 2014 Gay Games. Organizers have spent the better part of four years preparing for the Olympic-style event that’s expected to draw 30,000 athletes and spectators to the region next August.

But several recent hate crimes in Cleveland have the LGBT community on edge, and have put the city in a negative light. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz reports on how the city and its LGBT residents are responding.
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Cleveland welcomes 2014 Gay Games athletes, and announcing 2018 host city
The 10th games will land in London, Paris or Limerick, Ireland, and the announcement is expected today in Cleveland

The host city for the 2018 Gay Games is being announced here this morning – it will be either London, Paris or Limerick, Ireland. Meanwhile, the 2014 games begin here next August, and Cleveland is already reaching out to welcome and reassure the thousands of athletes who will converge on Northeast Ohio. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
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Gay Games settlement expected to cost Cleveland $475,000
Settlement with other parties remains confidential

The city of Cleveland is going to be paying out close to half a million dollars to the original sponsor of the 2014 Gay Games. Cleveland Synergy Corporation’s lawyer, Richard Haber, says his organization is getting $475,000 as part of the settlement of its lawsuit against the city, the mayor’s representative Valerie McCall and the Cleveland Special Events Corporation. Synergy had sued them and the International Federation of Gay Games last year after the federation pulled its license to sponsor the 2014 games in Cleveland. That came amid allegations of mismanagement by Synergy in organizing the games. The Special Events Corporation then took over management of the event. Synergy also settled with the federation, but, because it is not a public agency, the terms of that part of the settlement are not public record. The agreement does keep control of the 2014 games in the hands of the Special Events Corporation.
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Gay games are on for Cleveland in 2014
Lawsuit among the original organizers and the city has been settled

The International Gay Games will be in Cleveland in 2014, but no one is talking about details of a court settlement that will help ensure that. On the eve of a trial in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, Synergy Foundation settled its suit against the International Federation of Gay Games, the Cleveland Sports Commission and the city of Cleveland. Synergy had sued after it was forced out as the licensee for the Cleveland games amid claims of mismanagement. International games federation spokesman Kelly Stevens says all parties have agreed not disclose the terms of the settlement. And though he says the dispute has not hurt the 2014 games, the ability to move on is important.
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Contrasting views of gay life in Northeast Ohio
With the Gay Games coming in 2014 gay-friendliness varies across the region

Northeast Ohio won the right to host the 2014 Gay Games, but then controversy broke out. A lawsuit brought by the gay group that was stripped of its contract to stage the games charges that non-gay members of the new organization chosen to operate the athletic event are biased. In a three-part series of reports this week we've looked at the gay-friendliness of our region and found contrasting views.
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