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Ringworm, Dutch, grumblings at wrestling

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I'd never seen ringworm until I visited the wrestling venue. One athlete had it and proudly showed me the rings on his neck as a badge of courage. Wrestlers get ringworm from dirt on the mats, and it's a big deal: No street shoes are allowed on the competition floor, and wrestlers are inspected for ringworm before they get onto the mat.

Jeroen Tan from the Netherlands is competing. He remembers hosting the Gay Games in 1998 in Amsterdam and the anti-gay repercussions that followed: His gay wrestling group was not allowed to join the national wrestling federation because of homophobia. He remembers hearing anti-gay epithets the day after the closing ceremony in Amsterdam. And he said the wrestling world in the Netherlands is very homophobic. However, he is now the president of the Dutch national wrestling federation.

There were some grumblings at wrestling about how the event was being run. Gene Dermody (right), who won a gold medal, said that with only 40 competitors in the event it was a smaller group than Gay Games I in 1982. Plus, I noticed that several matches were won by forfeit and many did not even last 90 seconds. When I asked around about that, it seems the organizers didn't do a great job of pairing up wrestlers. Two matches I saw pitted grey-haired men in their 50s or 60s against big, muscular men in their 20s. Seemed odd to me.