UA extends a warm welcome to Gay Games participants


UA is preparing to welcome hundreds of Gay Games 9 participants to campus next week, including a 99-year-old woman who is expected to take part in the track and field events we're hosting.

Cleveland and Akron are jointly hosting the games, with up to 30,000 participants and guests from more than 65 countries expected.

"This is a big deal for Cleveland and Akron," says Todd Shaver of Off-Campus Student Services and a volunteer on the GG9 Akron task force. "We're hosting between Cologne, Germany (the 2010 host) and Paris (2018), so for us to be able to land this says a lot about our region."

Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, Gay Games 9 is one of the most inclusive sports and cultural festivals in the world. Participation is open to all, no matter their sexual orientation, gender, transgender status, religion, nationality, political convictions, athletic abilities, age or physical condition.

Feature: Building up for the games

The University of Akron

UA's Dr. Theresa Beyerle is preparing to participate in the bodybuilding competition at Gay Games 9.

Bodybuilders are all about protein. But Beyerle is a vegetarian, and that complicates her quest.

See how she's doing it at

In addition to hosting the track and field events, the University is also the site of the Game Change Conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 in the Student Union. The conference will explore LGBTQ issues in sports and culture in the 21st century, with an emphasis on LGBTQ elder, youth and transgender issues.

The track and field events will take place Monday through Friday. Marathoners will travel campus Saturday morning. (Note: All attending Saturday morning Commencement are advised to arrive on campus 15-30 minutes early as a result.)

Volunteer opportunities remain. Complete the volunteer registration online (look for the blue “Register Now” box on the righthand side). Make sure you list University of Akron as your organization when you create your profile.

About 100 participants will be staying in Spicer Hall.

The Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation is hosting the Summit County events.

Questions? Contact Shaver at or 330-972-8408.


Gay Games 9