Two-time Olympic silver medallist Michelle Ferris will be on hand at the upcoming Federation of Gay Games 2011 New Ambassador Launch Dinner to officially welcome some new faces into the Gay Games family.

Ferris, who was appointed a Gay Games ambassador in 2008, will present fellow Australian athlete Matthew Mitcham and New Zealand speed skater Blake Skjellerup as the two newest ambassadors. It’ll be a reunion of sorts for Ferris and Mitcham, who both travelled to the Cologne Gay Games last year to support the Australian contingent.

“It was a such a great atmosphere at Cologne — meeting all these people from around the world and enjoying not just the games, but the social side of it as well. I’m looking forward to catching up with Matthew and all the Team Sydney members, as well as welcoming Blake as an ambassador,” Ferris told the Star Observer.

Ferris said she’d suspected after last year’s trip that Mitcham would be eager to make his ties to the Federation of Gay Games official.

“After spending a couple of days with the other ambassadors and getting a feel of the family atmosphere there, after having firsthand experience of that, if you get to the end without wanting to be a part of it, there’d be something wrong really.”

The lavish gala dinner, to be held at the Hyde Park Marriott Hotel on September 1, is an opportunity for the 314 Team Sydney members who attended the Cologne games to reunite and relive their experiences. Dr Kerryn Phelps will MC the dinner, while Ferris will give a talk about her experiences as an ambassador.

INFO: Tickets to the dinner are limited and bookings are essential. Tickets are $70 for Team Sydney and SGLBA members, $80 for non-members. Visit or email [email protected]

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