While numbers were down and finances were tight at last month’s World Outgames in Copenhagen, community spirit soared.
The Australian team took home 50 gold medals thanks in no small part to athletes from Team Sydney.
The financial crisis impacted on games registration numbers. Projections for 8000 to 10,000 became approxitmately 5000, according to organisers, Sydney Star Observer columnist and Freezone Volleyball president Wally Salinger said.
At a local level, Sydney teams dwindled from the original plans. Hockey and softball sent one team and volleyball also had a few individuals and not the planned two teams.
Team Sydney president Geoffrey Radford said travelling costs had a significant impact on the number of athletes from Australia who made the trek.
Numbers were way down from those anticipated, and as far as the Aussies were concerned, cost played an enormous part in reducing the number finally travelling, Radford said.
Highlights for Australian athletes included gold for the Bentstix hockey side, the OutFielders softball side and bowler Graeme Cox. A number of Wett Ones members also picked up medals.
Australia finished seventh on the overall medal tally. The United States took out the top spot with 242 gold medals and Germany came second with 118 gold.
Considering the financial constraints on people travelling from Australia, I think we should be very proud of our people and their achievements, Radford said.
Sydney sporting groups will now get into training for the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne. The next World Outgames is in Antwerp in 2013.
info: For more information and the results from the World Outgames in Copenhagen visit www.copenhagen2009.org