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Sport shooting added to Gay Games events

image001.pngThere will be no rugby or flag football at the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, but you can win a medal in sport shooting.

Air Rifle (10 meter) and Air Pistol (10 meter), both sport shooting disciplines offered in the Olympic Games, will be fired at the Cologne Gay Games in 2010. Air Rifle and Air Pistol disciplines will be offered for both men and women. Consistent with international rules, women will fire 40 rating shots in a period of 75 minutes while men will fire 60 shots within 105 minutes. Shots are fired standing free-hand, with the athletes standing without leaning and artificial support. Official rules and schedule will be posted at prior to September 2008.

"We received many requests to add Sport Shooting," said Games Cologne Sports Director Karl-Heinz Schmitz. “We were surprised at how many lesbian and gay athletes, especially in Germany, wanted us to include the sport at Gay Games VIII. Assured of demand, we have added the sport.” The German Shooters Federation (Deutscher Schützenbund/DSB) is the fourth largest German sports association with 1.6 million members and almost 15,000 local shooting clubs. Sport Shooting is extremely popular in other parts of Europe.

This continues a trend of Gay Games host countries adding activities popular in their country, though not as widely viewed as “sports” elsewhere. In 1998, bridge was a Gay Games sport in Amsterdam, and chess will be on the agenda for Cologne. The inclusion of chess and bridge totally devalues the definition of “sport,” and I would consider shooting more a skill akin to billiards and darts than a sport (before you jump on me, I don't consider golf a sport either). The next time the Games are in the U.S., I will lobby to include checkers and tic-tac-toe. –Jim Buzinski