Hello Front Runners, for today’s issue of Meet a Front Runner we have something special for you (not to say all of our Front Runners aren’t special)! Bill Mogavero has just returned to Philadelphia to regale us with his tales of Gay Games X in Paris! For a little background, the Gay Games are an international quadrennial LGBT sporting competition, similar to the Olympics. The first Gay Games was held in 1982 and is the brain child of several former Olympic athletes and LGBT activists. So without further adieu, here is a little about Bill and his time as the Gay Games!
So Bill, When did you start running?
I started out on the middle school track team and ran through high school, took a 6 year break, and then got back into it about 4 years ago.
What is your proudest running accomplishment?
Competing and receiving a bronze medal at the Half Marathon at the Gay Games in Paris.
What does being a Front Runner mean to you?
Being a Front Runner means being celebrating being gay and being an athlete, and since it’s an international organization, it means that almost anywhere I go, I can find a running buddy.
So Bill, we heard to recently returned from Gay Games 10 in Paris. What was the experience like and what events did you participate in?
The experience was incredible – between the actual sporting events, happy hours and social events thrown every night by different organizations – and exploring Paris, there was almost too much to do! I participated in the 10k and Half Marathon.
What difference in atmosphere did you notice between a normal race (or series of races) and the Gay Games?
For me, the most powerful aspect of the Gay Games was the strong sense of community that it fostered. Everybody was so excited to be a part of the event and eager to make new connections.
In your opinion, why, or why not, are events like the Game Games relevant to LGBT athletes as athletics become more accepting of LGBT+ competitors?
The Gay Games are important to LBGT athletes as they provide an incredible sense of community for all of the participants, and continue to provide visibility to the LGBT community. Though we’ve come a long way in terms of LGBT acceptance, there is still a lot of progress to be made both here in the US and globally.
Should we go to the next gay games?
100%. I’m committed for life. See you in Hong Kong 2022.
Wildcard question (can be anything running or non-running related)
One of the most common questions I get is ‘So you competed in the Gay Games – how did they verify that you’re gay?’ Turns out, you do not have to pass the gay test to compete (also this test doesn’t actually exist)! The Gay Games strive to be as accessible and inclusive as possible for anyone who has an interest in being there!