(25 days to the start of the Gay Games) If you ask an Olympic medallist like Tom Daley or Andy Murray what their job is they’ll say “diver” or “tennis player”. But if you ask a medallist at the Gay Games, Outgames, or any other lgbt sporting event what their job is most of them won't say anything which is sports related. They train as hard as professionals but don’t do it for a living. They’ve very much in the mould of the original Olympians of the modern era.
In my researches into lgbt sports I have come across many athletes whose professions are far removed from the sport in which they compete. It’s worth looking at some of them. What they all prove is that you don’t need to be a professional athlete to succeed in sports, and the job you do shouldn’t dictate what sport you play.
Quite a few Gay Games athletes work in the sports industry – as coaches or personals trainers, etc. – and some are professional or retired athletes. I won’t mention them today. In order to present this list I chose one letter of the alphabet at random and went through my Gay Games database to find 30 medallists whose professions are quite different from their sport. A large proportion of them have also competed in the Outgames and the EuroGames. Although it’s a varied list it doesn’t include other professions I could mention if I chose another letter, like US Ambassador, priest, gay porn actor, or Emmy-winning casting director.
The athlete’s name is followed by their main profession and then the sport in which they won their medal/s.
Walter Baardemans – journalist - badminton
Eduardo Luis Bahamon – cytogeneticist - diving
Cara Balboni - clinical social worker - in-line skating
Lenora Barot – ex-Prof. of Plastic Surgery, now writer of lesbian romances - martial arts
Orlando Barsallo – make-up artist - bodybuilding
Jarrett Basedow – international aid worker - tennis
Lynn (Allwyn) Baskin – actor - figure skating
Alec Bates – chemistry professor - cycling
Sybille Bauriedl – political and environmental ecologist - table tennis
Kevin Batungbacal – real estate agent – beach volleyball
Alexandra Bayliss – archaeologist – dancesport
Terry Bean – political fundraiser and lgbt rights pioneer – golf
Elizabeth Bellinger – school teacher – swimming
Steven Berveling – barrister - cycling
George Birimisa – playwright and actor – bodybuilding
Roger Blenman – poet and spoken-word artist - wrestling
Reggie Blennerhasset – university Pro Vice-Chancellor – sailing
Bruce Bornfleth – doctor – swimming
Keith Boykin – White House aide to President Clinton - wrestling
Kevin Brauer – registered nurse – ice hockey
Carter Bravmann – architect – cycling
Emma Jane Brennan – photographer - swimming
Rosina Bruno – journalist - tennis
Salvador Burgaleta – architect - swimming
Kristopher Burrell – Assistant Professor of History - wrestling
Jana Burton – maths teacher - athletics
Wolfgang Busch – film-maker – table tennis
Toby Butterfield – law lecturer – squash
Todd Buttery – lgbt festival organiser - swimming
Finally, and with a note of congratulations to double gold-winning marathon runner – Jake Bartholomy, a physical therapist. He and his husband, Dr. Justin Goodman, became the proud fathers of a son, Park Bartholomy Goodman, on 30th May.