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2006 Notebook - July 19

News, Notes and Photos from Chicago

(This story was published in 2006).

Ice capades: Brian Cordeiro had an incredible performance Tuesday in Gay Games ice hockey action, held in suburban Lincolnwood. He scored five goals and dished out two assists as the Boston Lobsters bombed the Leftwings 10-1.

Cordeiro, 36, (left) will lead his team against San Francisco 2 on Wednesday in the final day of seeding play. However, it's the Los Angeles Blades who are the clear-cut favorite to win the gold medal in the men's competitive division - not Cordeiro's Lobsters. Boston fans actually threw lobster stuffed animals on the ice to honor team members who tally the three-goal hat trick. Cordeiro scored his hat trick in the first period.

The four ice hockey finals are Friday, starting at 2:50 p.m.Chase Willier, meanwhile, scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win for Vancouver Northern Lights over Southern in women's ice hockey play. Her goal was assisted by Jen Cham. Cham also played Tuesday for Trans America Chaos.

"This is my first Gay Games, and definitely won't be my last. I'm having a great time, and definitely want to go to Germany (in 2010)," said Cham, 34, a nurse from Vancouver, B.C. "The Games are bigger than what I expected. The Opening Ceremony was amazing. Everything has been awesome."

Itay Hod of Logo TV made an on-ice appearance Tuesday at the ice rink - but only to do tape some segments, not actually play.

Openly gay pro wrestler Chris Kanyon will drop the ceremonial first puck for the two men's championship games on Friday. No word on whether anyone will do the same for the women. -Ross Forman

Overcoming the obstacles: Jenn Childress couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her air conditioner. The Gay Games Off-Road mountain bike race was the following day, and she couldn’t sleep. It was 1a.m. and Jenn swore it was more than 100 degrees in her room. Her cats looked like they were going to expire.

Jenn realized that the heat was on full blast. It’s the kind of heat the landlord controls, so she had no way to turn it off. Meanwhile, sweat was dripping down her forehead and she felt herself wilt. This was no way to prepare for the race tomorrow, she thought.

The superintendent came by and turned off the heat at 2. “Great,” thought Jenn, “this is just perfect, I’ll be racing with virtually no sleep after having sat in a sauna for half the night.”

A very tired Jenn lined up the next day at the starting line for the “Sport” Category of the Gay Games Off Road race. Her practice loop had gone well, but you never know how you’ll do in the race. Waiting for the race, Jenn felt the familiar butterflies. At 27, she was the youngest female rider in the “Sport” category.

The starting bell rang and the eight women took off and sprinted into the woods. Jenn quickly pulled to the front. She battled with another woman for the lead as they broke away from the pack and soared through the course with amazing speed. Just when things were looking promising, a branch got caught in Jenn’s her wheel. The bike jerked, causing the chain to come off. While everyone whizzed by, Jenn frantically pulled her bike off the course and fixed her chain.

Jenn was back racing five minutes later, but that was long enough to lose significant time. She pedaled as hard as possible and was able to catch up to a couple of racers. But the fastest ones were still ahead. Jenn felt like she was going to puke, the heat was unbearable. But she was going to do everything possible to catch up.

Coming out of the second lap, a woman on the sidelines called out “Go, Jenn! Dig deep, you can catch up! You’re right behind her!”

This was the motivation she needed. Pulling out all her strength, Jenn pounded the trail. She soared downhill, cut the switchback curves close and pumped uphill. She was going to catch the woman ahead of her.

Halfway through the third lap, Jenn caught up to the racer and tailed her as they cruised downhill. “Mountain bike races are won on the uphills” Jenn told herself, as she strategically made her move as the track widened and gave way to an uphill section.

Jenn was feeling sick, the heat was unbearable. She pumped her legs as fast as possible. Her face was covered with salt. She couldn’t quit, she was almost there.

Jenn tore across the finish line and almost collapsed. She figured that there was still one rider ahead of her, and that she’d won the silver. Not bad at all, she thought. Not bad.

“Congratulations, you’ve won the gold!” the announcer said.

Jenn was stunned. Despite having no sleep, despite the chain falling off, she caught up and was the overall gold medal winner for the Women’s Sport category. Not bad for her first Gay Games Off-Road race. -Ronit Bezalel

Gay Games all over America. The numbers are starting to roll in for the Gay Games media exposure, and they're pretty darned impressive. Chicago 2006's tracking firm has confirmed that from July 14 to the morning of July 18 the event was featured in 361 TV segments and seen by 62.8 million people. Now that's the power of the Gay Games; probably the better half of 62.8 million people scratched their heads over the weekend and said, "I didn't know them queers played sports." And this isn't including radio, print or Internet exposure. Kudos to the media relations team at Chicago 2006 – their efforts to get the Gay Games in front of the public can have a lot more impact on our fight for rights than political groups jumping down Lance Armstrong's throat for making a joke about Jake Gyllenhaal getting it in the rear. – Cyd Zeigler jr.

The medics. I was injured when a player from the Chicago Flames rammed into me on the last play of the first half of our game against them. His cleat or knee hit my calf and I went down. The on-site medical staff at football and at swimming, where we headed after football, was so friendly and eager to help. "We love that people are using our services," a cute blonde medic said to me as he was wrapping my calf. The medical staff is available at every venue taping, wrapping, and consoling everyone who needs their attention. With the heat, they've been busy and they all deserve all of our thanks!

Gay Games spokesperson Kevin Boyer says that despite the heat, only five people have needed medical transport because of the heat. Only three fractures have been reported at the Games thus far, which is a fraction of what I would have guessed. - CZ

Outsports football update. In day two of football action, our Outsports Team beat the Chicago Flames in the morning thriller, 27-20, and won the quarterfinal game against the Sixth Street Knights, 39-23. We next play the San Diego Toros in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. The Chicago Flames will take on the New York Bad Apples in the other semifinal. - CZ