A delegation from Cleveland is heading to Cologne, Germany to attend the 2010 Gay Games. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports the trip is to prepare to host the NEXT Gay Games in four years.
Cleveland was the top choice over Washington D.C and Boston in the competition to host the quadrennial Gay Games in 2014, and as the next hosting city, its delegation will take part in the proceedings this year in Cologne.
We caught up with Valerie McCall, Cleveland's Chief of Government Affairs, as she and about a dozen other people representing the city waited to board the plane.
McCALL: "We're going so we can see first hand what will be expected of us as we host the games."
This year's games begin Saturday and conclude the following weekend. About 10,000 athletes from more than 70 countries will compete in close to three dozen sports. McCall says the delegation is required to participate in certain events.
McCALL: "There's opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies… we have to officially receive the flag, which is a big thing because it lets us know that it comes to our city after this."
Others along on the trip include staff from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Positively Cleveland, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, the Akron Convention and Visitors' Bureau, and corporate sponsor Equalsurance.
City officials expect the 2014 Gay Games to draw more than 100,000 athletes and spectators to Cleveland.