The 2009 World Outgames kick off with the Opening Ceremony in Copenhagen on Saturday, July 25. As the clock ticks down on training for the anticipated 5,000 sporting participants, writer Ross Forman This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it is profiling Outgames athletes in a continuing series.

Brian Woolford
Karlyne Fazio
outgames_b_woolford“The Outgames is a wonderful opportunity to travel and meet like-minded GLBT [people] in a sporting environment,” said Woolford, 50, a family physician/HIV specialist who provides primary care services to HIV/AIDS patients for Family Health Centers of San Diego. “It’s all about inclusion – from novice to pros – everyone can find a sport to participate in at their own level of ability, supporting a healthy lifestyle. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies hopefully will be memorable occasions, like they were at the 2006 World Outgames in Montreal and the [2002] Gay Games in Sydney.”

Woolford, who previously has competed in some indoor volleyball tournaments in California, also participated in the 1994 Gay Games in New York City and the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago.

“I really wasn’t into sports much as a kid; lacked the self confidence,” Woolford said. “I sucked at Little League Baseball and quit Pop Warner Football after two weeks. I was a late bloomer and started playing tennis as a teen and also started a family tradition of playing high school volleyball. In college, I really got involved with the excellent intramural program at Lehigh and realized I was just as good an athlete as most. Currently, I am a jack-of-all/master-of-none when it comes to my sports activities. But I really enjoy staying fit and healthy.”

Woolford is dedicating the 2009 World Outgames to his patients and friends who have lost their battles with AIDS and those who continue to fight and battle against HIV.

Getting To Know: Dr. Brian Woolford …

High School: Bethlehem Central in Delmar, N.Y., Class of 1976.
College: Lehigh University, Class of 1980.
Favorite Teams: “I prefer college sports over pros, especially college football.” Lehigh Mountaineers, USC Trojans, University of Texas Longhorns and Syracuse Orangemen.
Favorite Athletes: “Magic Johnson because of his commitment to give back to his community, especially regarding HIV. I also respect Tim Tebow, and of course Martina Navritilova and Greg Louganis for coming out in their sports.”
Superstitions: None.
Hobbies: Swimming, weight training, biking, volleyball, tennis, rollerblading, traveling, reading, eating good and healthy food.
Little Known Fact: “I won the ‘Best Legs in Virginia Contest’ while in my Family Practice residency training at a hetero beach bar in Virginia Beach, Va., in 1987.”
Goals for the 2009 World Outgames: “Experience as much of Copenhagen as it has to offer culturally, hopefully competing well and having fun participating in my sports. I also am looking forward to meeting new GLBT participants from around the world.”
What separates me from other Outgames participants: “I’m not sure, but I am competitive and good natured…it’s all about fitness and fun for me at this stage of life.”
outgames_k_fazioWhen Karlyne Fazio last stepped into the high-profile international gay sports spotlight at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, she left with two gold and two bronze medals.

Now 52, the suburban Seattle resident will be in Copenhagen this summer for the 2009 World Outgames, competing in track & field events in honor of her track coach, Len Tritsch, who is in his 80s.

“I am competing in the World Outgames because it is an environment where everyone can express themselves openly and enjoy the camaraderie with people from all over the world,” said Fazio, who is bisexual. “As a member of our track team, the Seattle Frontrunners, we set goal times for each event in January with our coach…. After six months of training my goal is to hit those set times.”

Fazio is a foreman for the Maintenance and Repair Department at American President Lines/partner of the Nol group, a major shipping company.

Getting to Know: Karlyne Fazio …

High School: Chief Sealth High School, Class of 1974
College: Attended one year at Highline Community College, where she played on both the volleyball and basketball teams.
Favorite Professional Sports Teams: The 1971 Super Bowl Champions Dallas Cowboys, led by quarterback Roger Staubach. The 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds. The 1978-79 Seattle Supersonics. The 1985-86 Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird. “Currently, I am not a big fan of professional sports, but I do scan the highlights.”
Sporting Fact: Is a season ticket holder to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, led by Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, Yolanda Griffith and Sheryl Swoopes.
Favorite College Sports Team: The University of Washington football. “I started attending games in 1974 with my father and friends and now, 35 years later, I am still a season ticket holder and look forward to spending Saturday game days with my children, cousins, nephews, nieces, grandchild and life-long friends. We bleed purple and gold.”
Favorite Athlete: Jesse Owens
Hobbies: Entertaining grandchild, watching high school basketball (youngest son is a coach), camping and hiking.
Superstitions: “During a winning streak, you must wear the same clothing, including underwear.”
Little Known Fact: “Cookies are my main staple.”
Past Sporting Accomplishment: High School record in the 40m dash
(Complete This Sentence) The Outgames Will Be a Success For Me … “if, by my participation, I am able to compete at my highest level, bond new friendships and help spread the mission of human rights.”