The Federation of Gay Games will welcome its two newest ambassadors at a lavish gala dinner in Sydney on September 1, to be presented in partnership with the SGLBA and Team Sydney and sponsored by Proteus Leadership Centres.

The two new ambassadors are Matthew Mitcham, the openly gay Australian Olympic diver who shot to fame by winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, and Blake Skjellerup, the Winter Olympic speed skater from New Zealand.

Skjellerup came out after the Vancouver Winter Games last year and has recently undertaken a tour of New Zealand talking to schools about homophobic bullying.

This takes to four the number of FGG athletes from Australia and New Zealand: the two new ambassadors will join trampolinist Ji Wallace, who won a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics, and cyclist Michelle Ferris, who won silver medals at Athens and Sydney.

Ferris will be on hand to help welcome the new ambassadors at the dinner, to be held at the Marriott Hotel in Darlinghurst. It’ll be a reunion of sorts for Ferris and Mitcham, who both attended the Gay Games in Cologne last year to cheer on the Australian contingent of athletes.

Mitcham so enjoyed his experience in Cologne that he has agreed to become a FGG ambassador. He will give a speech on the night entitled ‘Winning Gold – Achieving Goals: What it takes to succeed’, while Ferris will also talk about her experiences in Cologne.

The Dr Kerryn Phelps-hosted event is open to the public, with Team Sydney President Geoffrey Radford encouraging Gay Games participants in particular to attend.

“With both Matthew and Michelle in attendance, the dinner is a great opportunity for those who went to the Gay Games in Cologne to relive their memories of the event,” he said. “It’ll also be a good chance to start talking about the next Gay Games, to be held in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014.”

INFO: Tickets to FGG’s 2011 New Ambassador Launch Dinner are limited and bookings are essential through the SGLBA website. Tickets are $70 for Team Sydney and SGLBA members, $80 for non-members. Visit or email [email protected]

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