Marc Naimark, a longtime fixture and volunteer with the Federation of Gay Games, has died. His age is unclear.

If you ever had the pleasure of working with Marc, you know he was always eager to help improve the world for LGBT athletes. He did that through the Gay Games, which he held dearly in his heart. Living in France, it was a great joy to him to see Paris win the right to host the Gay Games in 2018.

Marc was, for me, a constant online companion. I only met him once – at the Paris site inspection for the 2018 Gay Games – but we regularly shared stories and ideas over email and Facebook. I never found any ego with Marc, only the desire to help. He often had a vision for what that looked like, and he was regularly able to see that vision come to fruition. His vision was, so very often, spot-on.

Emy Ritt, the past female president of the Federation of Gay Games, sent this email to friends and supporters summing up Naimark's incredible contributions to the Gay Games and LGBT sport:

With great sadness, this message is to let you know that Marc Naimark is no longer of this world.

Since Marc’s involvement with the Gay Games in 1998, we have had the privilege to witness his kindness and compassion, his brilliance and genius. Thanks to his diligence and patience, FGG and the Gay Games benefited from so many of Marc’s ideas and initiatives.

To name just a few:

  • Increased flexibility for the Gay Games sports component
  • Reorganized the Site Selection Request for Proposal documents
  • Initiated Gay Games Awards program
  • Enhanced visibility of FGG and the Gay Games via the blog
  • Automated communication from blog to Facebook to twitter
  • Promoted the Gay Games via online publications, such as SLATE.COM
  • Provided key support for Pride House London 2012 and the international Pride House initiative
  • Collaborated with Gay.Net on behalf of FGG
  • Provided support for the Open Games and SOCHI-related actions
  • Assisted with the historic FGG meeting with the IOC President
  • Established multiple contacts with external organizations
  • Worked with Paris 2018 on several projects – translation, website, accessibility
The list could go on and on. Marc was always there, ready to help, providing support in any way possible.

Unbeknownst to us, the ever-present kindness and compassion that was Marc’s trademark masked a tortured soul, even from his loved ones.

Although his chair at the table is now empty, as our hearts are, we know that Marc has moved onwards and upwards to a better place.

Our thoughts are with Jimmy, his partner of 15 years.

We will keep you informed of any further news.

Merci, Marc, for all of your dedication to making this world a better place. It's in part because of your hard work that we're getting there.

You can visit Marc's Facebook page and Twitter account to leave condolences. Some have already done that on Twitter:

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