Competitive aerobics seems to be a sport uniquely suited to this community. The outfits drip with camp sensibility, and the punchy, high-energy moves resemble the kind of amphetamine-driven dance motion one associates with our big dance parties.
It’s an exhilarating sport to watch and, at these Gay Games, Australians dominated the medal action.
Team Aussie Boys (E) were obvious claimants to gold in the aerobic teams event, and local teams also fared well in the step team event. The Newtown Gym Brats (F) picked up bronze, while a five-strong team from Newcastle University (D) scored the gold.
Bastien Wallace from the Newcastle team told Sydney Star Observer that the group trained for five months for their Gay Games appearance, which was their debut. A noticeably young group, their ages ranged from 19 to 26.
My objective was for us to just get up there, have fun and not embarrass ourselves, Wallace said. We had a few disasters -” we had a couple of drop-outs and replacements and one of our team members tore his rotator cuff out -” but we pulled it together. It came down to the choreography. We paid for a good choreographer, Virginia Latimore. We paid for the best and we got the best.
Australia also took gold in the men’s pair event, with Fitness First trainers Davide Wheeler and Brett Humble (A) beating out a pair from New Zealand for the top honour.
Wheeler and Humble looked a striking couple in fluorescent pink lycra. If you didn’t know it was the Gay Games, you know now! they said in a statement which was read out to the finals audience.
I suppose we were hoping to get up there and do our best, Wheeler said. Just to get up there and have fun and camp it up a bit.
Both men said the event had a fantastic atmosphere.
I’ve been on the committee as well for three and a half years, pulling this together, Wheeler said. Today and yesterday have been unreal. The competitors have been of a high standard and everyone’s had a great time, which is fantastic.
The competition saw many milestones and personal bests. Among them was the story of DIVA committee member Colleen Windsor (D centre), who turned 50 last week and backed that up with a bronze medal in the women’s fitness individual grouping.
This is really a personal celebration of turning that milestone, she said. All the girls who have been competing have been so friendly and charming, it’s been an absolute pleasure, this whole experience.
Of course, not every medal went to the Australians. Denmark put in a strong showing, with individuals placing first and third in the novice men’s individual category and the Copenhagen Gay Aerobics team getting silver in the trio teams event (the gold went to the Swiss team).
Competition proved to be especially strong in the open men’s individual event, with Sean Gunther (C) from South Africa snatching gold, Tim Crow from Australia taking silver and Alan Nicholas David (B) from the US claiming bronze.
I was thinking I’d be really glad if I got in the top 20 but I did better than I thought, David said. This is my first time at a Gay Games, and the first time in an international competition.
With the event over, David said he could now relax and enjoy the rest of the Gay Games.
The weather’s great, the country’s beautiful; it couldn’t be better, he said.