US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s video message of support for the Gay Games made its public premiere at the Gay Games Ambassador dinner in Sydney last week.

In the video, not seen by anyone outside of the Gay Games General Assembly, Clinton praised attendees at the Cologne 2010 Gay Games and invited athletes to attend the Cleveland Games in 2014.

“International competitions bring people together across geographical and cultural boundaries to discover how much unites us,” Clinton said.

“The Gay Games are an important opportunity for participants from around the world to set records on the playing field while celebrating community and shattering the stereotypes and misconceptions.

“The first Gay Games were a vehicle of courage for gays and lesbians to appear on the world stage in a way that defied stereotypes, demonstrated pride, determination and heart.

“Some of those who gathered to compete in Cologne came from countries where their sexual orientation is still considered a crime. So for all of us, the games remain an important vehicle for a broader project — to promote respect and tolerance worldwide.

“Breaking barriers and setting precedents for a universal inclusion is the standard of the Gay Games and … you have once again inspired us as exemplary athletes — as proof of what can be achieved when we come together in the spirit of peace and acceptance.

“Of course these games are also about having fun so I hope you’ve had a wonderful celebratory experience. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in the United States for the 2014 Games in Cleveland, Ohio.”
At the dinner, attended by NSW Sports Minister Graham Annesley, and Councillor Phillip Black on behalf of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Olympians Matthew Mitcham and Blake Skjellerup were inducted into the ranks of ambassadors of the Gay Games.

Mitcham, Skjellerup, Black and Annesley were also presented with medals won by veteran Gay Games athlete Kate Rowe. Rowe was presented with the City of Capetown Cup for her services as a Gay Games volunteer.

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