Don't miss your chance to compete this summer in the 2014 Gay Games.
© Kevin Ware
By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com
Players across the country have the opportunity this summer to represent the U.S., march in opening and closing ceremonies with Team USA and compete for a gold medal in the 2014 Gay Games.
Presented by the Cleveland Foundation, the ninth edition of the Gay Games will be held from August 9-16 in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. The event is open to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation or athletic ability.
More than 10,000 athletes are expected to participate this year, with more than 500 expected to compete in the tennis events. Singles, doubles and mixed doubles divisions will be contested, with skill level-based draws ranging from an Open division for advanced players to D level for beginners.
There are also plenty of opportunities for players to enjoy what Cleveland and Akron have to offer. Games, activities and cultural events will be hosted by numerous museums, nightclubs and restaurants in both cities. Players can also cheer on their fellow Team USA athletes in the 37 other sports that will be contested during the Gay Games.
Conceived by Olympian Tom Waddell in 1982, the Gay Games bring together a global community every four years to encourage participation, elevate consciousness and self-esteem, and to achieve a form of cultural and intellectual collaboration. Numerous cities across the world have hosted the event in previous years, including Sydney, Amsterdam and Vancouver. Chicago was the last U.S. city to host the event, in 2006.
General registration for the 2014 Gay Games ends on May 31. Information on how to register can be found here.