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Band of brothers: 7 men at swimming have attended all 9 Gay Games

Photo by Brent Mullins

There was a wonderful Gay Games reunion by the pool at Cleveland State University when seven men posed for a photo to commemorate having attended all nine Gay Games going back to 1982.

Six of them have swam at all nine Games, while the seventh (Seth Shapiro) has been an official and journalist. They came of age as young gay men during the early AIDS years and have seen numerous loved ones die. The seven -- all still going strong -- are the ultimate survivors. "We hadn't expected to lived this long," one said.

They have been in Gay Games swimming competitions in San Francisco (1982 and 1986); Vancouver (1990); New York (1994); Amsterdam (1998); Sydney (2002); Chicago (2006); Cologne (2010) and Cleveland (2014). One of them said that in 1982 he never thought he would be a part of something so historic and enduring.

The seven who attended all nine Games are (from the left in the photo): Seth Shapiro, Mauro Bordovsky, Scott Reuss,  Andy Brennan, Charlie Carson, Mark Wussler, and Mike Wallace. Here's  hoping they are all taking a similar photo four years from now in Paris.