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2016 COMPETE

SPORTS DIVERSITY AWARD WINNERS

7TH ANNUAL PETEY AWARDS DECEMBER 2016 • VOL. 10 NO. 12 $3.95 • COMPETENETWORK.COM


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DECEMBER 2016 Volume 10, Issue 12

PUBLISHERS Eric Carlyle • eric@competenetwork.com Patrick Gamble • patrick@competenetwork.com COMPETE MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief Connie Wardman • connie@competenetwork.com Style Editor Bobby Ciletti • bobby@competenetwork.com Graphic Design Assistant Matt Boyd • mattb@competenetwork.com Field Ambassador Alfonzo Chavez • alfonzo@competenetwork.com Contributors Harry Andrew, Ian Colgate, Jared Garduno, Jeff Kagan, Ali Kay, Miriam Latto, Bryan Lee, Michael Losier, Kevin Majoros, Dr. Rob Elliott Owens, Brian Patrick and Sarah Woodward Photographers Thomas Fleisher, Leland Gebhardt and Robert Mercer Sales & Partnerships sales@competenetwork.com Administration Camille Powell • camille@competenetwork.com Copyright © 2016 MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC All Rights Reserved. Corporate Office 4703 South Lakeshore Drive, Suite 3 Tempe, Arizona 85282 • 480-222-4223 Compete is a trademark of Media Out Loud, LLC MISSION STATEMENT Compete unites the world through sports.

PHOTO COURTESY AMS CREATIVE IMAGING PHOTOGRAPHY

PETEY PRESENTS: COMPETE’S 2016 16 SPORTS DIVERSITY AWARD WINNERS KICK–OFF

7 LEFT FIELD

Grandstanding, Speed Read,Thumbs UP/DOWN

9 COMMUNITY HERO

Hank Cary: Letting the Game Come to You

DEPARTMENTS 24 MVP

Jodie Turner

26 INTERVIEW

Jeremy Ballard: An Asset On and Off the Pitch

30 ATHLETE

Sonya Jaquez Lewis: She Leads; She Plays; She Loves Sports

SPORTS 34 36

Sin City Shootout Turns 10 Gay Games Scholarship Challenge for Paris 2018

OVERTIME

COMPETENETWORK.COM

38 NUTRITION

FACEBOOK.COM/COMPETEMAG

40 FITNESS

@COMPETESPORTS

COMPETE MAGAZINE

Healthy Holiday Celebrating Choosing the Right Shoe for Your Sport

INSTAGRAM.COM/COMPETEMAGAZINE

42 GYM BAG 44 EVENTS 46 STYLE

Winter Skin Saviors

COMPETE ONLINE

Check out Compete stories, videos and more online at: competenetwork.com

www.CompeteNetwork.com

COVER ATHLETE Gus Kenworthy SPORT Professional Freestyle Skier PHOTOGRAPHER Monster Energy

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FROM THE SKYBOX BY ERIC CARLYLE, PUBLISHER/CEO

THANKS TO THOSE BEHIND THE SCENES @CompeteEric

W

e received a number of letters, emails and social media posts about last month’s Faces of Sports issue. Like every issue of Compete, it is one of my favorites. Most of the comments were supportive, citing the dedication to sports diversity of both the “Faces” issue itself as well as the individuals whose stories were shared. But one of my favorite comments came at last month’s Compete Sports Diversity Awards in Denver. One of the honorees (who asked I keep his identity anonymous) was truly impressed with Catherine “CJ” Kelly and the work she does with the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA). The honoree said he felt embarrassed to accept the award after reading about CJ. We already loved CJ’s story but I was compelled to ask the honoree why he connected so strongly to it. The honoree said that it is people like CJ – people on the various boards, people raising money, people organizing tournaments, people advocating for local, national and international organizations – who make being an athlete so much easier. We talked about CJ and her role at NAGAAA for a few minutes and, as a weekend athlete, myself, I couldn’t help but agree with the honoree’s assessment. Being an athlete is much easier because of the work done by individuals on boards, those who volunteer and sponsors who help with financial support. So as 2016 comes to a close I’d like to personally thank everyone behind the scenes in our local, national, international and professional sports organizations who make being an athlete (and a fan) so easy and enjoyable! Happy Holidays,

Eric Carlyle Publisher/CEO eric@competenetwork.com

P.S.: The wish for a happy holiday comes from the entire Compete Magazine team.

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KICKOFF

GRANDSTANDING LETTERS TO COMPETE MAGAZINE

HOLY MOLY, MOLLY! (November 2016) Being a member of the transgender community, I rarely see us presented (and represented) in such a positive light as Compete’s story on Molly Lenore. I currently play softball in the men’s division but hope to join the women’s division as I complete my transition. I know I will keep this copy of Compete for a long time and refer back to it when I need just a little bit of inspiration myself.

J’aime Harris, Bend, Oregon GO GREG LOUGANIS (November 2016) I have followed Greg Louganis since the late 1980’s. Even back then he had a certain peaceful quality about himself that I think has grown stronger as he has aged. I truly hope his activewear takes off and the community he has supported for so many years returns the favor to him.

COMPETE READER SURVEY Favorite Cardio Exercise? Other 10% Swimming 15% Bicycling 20%

Walking/ Running 55%

Scott Kelly Palm Springs, California TALK TO US! Submissions to Compete should include the writer’s name, address and contact phone number and should be sent by email to letters@competenetwork.com. Letters may be edited by Compete and become the property of Media Out Loud, LLC.

www.CompeteNetwork.com

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FROM THE CATBIRD SEAT BY CONNIE WARDMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YOU HAVE THE POWER!

W

e hold our annual awards in November right before Thanksgiving, and sharing our honorees with you always @CompeteConnie makes me thankful for the many wonderful and truly power-full LGBT and ally people I get to meet who are making positive changes in the world. When the late news broke of the Columbian plane crash that killed 71 and left only six alive, however, I was compelled to pull my letter and rewrite it. How power-less something like this tragedy can make you feel, something that caused me to reflect on our personal power. The fact is that each one of us is power-full – we are not power-less. We have more personal power to change things than we’re often willing to admit. When we use our power, we risk rocking the boat. And when we allow fear to take over, we don’t believe we’re strong enough to handle things, we worry what other people will think and say about us. We often don’t want to risk using our personal power because we’re afraid of its consequences. Yet we can and do positively change the world every day by our seemingly inconsequential decisions … when we use our power appropriately. From the power to create a new team, to reenergize an organization, to hold a Pride Night or to stand together with others who share your beliefs – these are some of the positive changes you can read about in this issue that you can apply to your life today if you choose. Learning the lessons of using personal power appropriately and applying them to your life can be hard. But when you do, you’re really making the world better. We all are potential catalysts for positive change, for raising awareness on a global scale about the importance of acceptance, inclusion, equality, respect and good old fashioned kindness in our shared global society. When you stand up to do the right thing, you also serve as a teacher or mentor to others who are watching you, looking for a positive example to follow. Like throwing a stone across the water, your positive actions send ripples of change far beyond your ability to see them. I love the quote on power used originally by John F. Kennedy in his first State of the Union address to Congress in 1962 and reused by President Obama to talk about our country's Constitution. But apply it to your personal constitution, your value system because it “makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.” Thanks to each of you for standing up when it’s appropriate – for being a part of this positive sports diversity movement that enables individuals to feel special rather than different. On a personal note, I love having you as a partner for progress! Keep Smiling,

Connie Wardman, Editor-in-Chief connie@competenetwork.com

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JARED GARDUNO SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREE

COMMUNITY HERO

KICKOFF

Hank Cary:

Let The Game To Come To You By Jared Garduno

O

fficials, umpires and referees are paramount to the success of every competitive league. LGBT sports leagues cannot exist without competent people who administer the game and so these officials become community heroes, helping support gay sports in a very important way. The importance of taking care of them is critical to ensuring that the great ones continue to return and that those entering the officiating world are afforded the opportunity to expand their knowledge base. As competitors there is a sense of security when an elite official is walking onto the field or court. When it comes to the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) tournaments, seeing referee Hank Cary mid-field for the coin toss provides a silent understanding that you are in good hands. Jared Garduno: What sports do you referee, Hank? Hank Cary: Ultimate frisbee, flag football and high school football. JG: How were you introduced to the world of officiating? HC: I never had any plans to officiate so the introduction to being an official was an accidental one. While attending college and before coming out I was part of a church group that played ultimate frisbee. There was a moment when I realized that my talents on the field were capped. But wanting to stay on the field, I contacted USA Ultimate to gain a further perspective of the rules. Playing in a self-ref league helped with a smooth transition into officiating. Currently I sit on the National Officiating Observer Committee of nine. JG: How did you become a flag football referee, then? HC: I joined the Denver Gay Lesbian Flag Football League (DGFFL) as a player. It was fun playing but when former DGFFL commissioner Jonathan Marquez asked me to join the referee crew I jumped at the opportunity. The invitation to become a referee was assuring and crucial to the process. I encourage leagues to extend the offer to people they feel possess the talent to referee. People like me are eager to participate but will wait until asked. Fortunately I was asked. JG: Why did you decide to take the next step and join the ranks of high school referees? HC: Lance Burage, the NGFFL head of officials was officiating at the high school level to improve his craft, and

I followed my mentor’s example. The past four years of refereeing at that level have helped me with both structure and professionalism. JG: Share with us a few lessons you’ve learned from officiating. HC: Two significant Photo courtesy of Hank Cary lessons I take into every game are first, admit when you are wrong. We don’t always see everything and if we missed something, we need to let the players know. If you make a mistake, the players and coaches appreciate the honesty. And second, you don’t always need the last word. Remember, the players are caught up in the middle of the game and are seeking to vent their frustration. JG: What advice do you have for coaches and players when communicating with referees? HC: Work with the referees, don’t just talk or shout at them. Some coaches don’t like their players to speak to the referees. I encourage players to communicate with the referee when they are unsure of a call or have a question. However, be conscious of when to stop the conversation with an official and get back into the game. Halftime is an appropriate time for further explanation of a call. JG: Is it important to take a moment to reflect after each game or tournament? HC: There are a number of appropriate points during a game or tournament for self-reflection. Taking the time to talk with your crew during the game, halftime and at the conclusion are crucial times for dialog. Then after a game or tournament, think about how you could have handled a given situation better or chosen a better phrase to communicate with a player or coach. JG: What advice do you have for new officials? HC: Knowledge Doesn’t = Experience: Experience = Experience. As you gain experience the game does slow down. You will go from tunnel vision to a wide-open plane. Allow the game to come to you. Jared Garduno is the outgoing NGFFL commissioner.

DO YOU KNOW A COMMUNITY HERO? Community Heroes is a regular feature in Compete Magazine. Nominate deserving individuals by emailing us at heroes@competenetwork.com and include a brief biography of or a link to your nominee.

www.CompeteNetwork.com

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KICKOFF

LEFT FIELD

SPEED READ FOOTBALL HISTORY MADE BY 55-YEAR-OLD PLAYER

Division I football history was made by Joe Thomas Sr. on November 19 when the 55-year-old carried for three yards as a running back in his South Carolina State’s game against Savannah State. The father of NFL Packers linebacker Joe Thomas Jr., Thomas Sr. is a student at his son’s alma mater and is now the oldest student player to participate in a Division I game. You’re never too old to pursue your dream!

HARVARD CANCELS MEN’S SOCCER FOR SEASON DUE TO LEWD COMMENTS The men’s soccer team has been suspended for the remainder of the season by Harvard University due to sexual comments team members made about members of the women’s soccer team. They called it their “scouting report” and circulated it online. It started with a found document from 2012 recovered by the school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, but the behavior has continued through the current season. University president Drew Faust said in part, that the decision to cancel the season is both serious and consequential, reflecting the school’s view that “both the team's behavior and the failure to be forthcoming when initially questioned are completely unacceptable, have no place at Harvard, and run counter to the mutual respect that is a core value of our community." Harvard Athletics will partner with the office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response to further educate the men’s soccer team (currently in first place in the Ivy League) and all Harvard student-athletes about the seriousness of their conduct and the standard of respect and conduct that the university expects of them.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY WRESTING TEAM SUSPENDED FOR HOMOPHOBIC TEXTS The entire Columbia University men’s wrestling team was suspended initially over a series of “racist, misogynistic and homophobic” texts that are disturbingly graphic and disgustingly offensive, something that’s evidently gone on for the past few years. After after being run on the school's independent news site bwog.com, Columbia canceled the season’s opening match immediately, telling the site that “Columbia University has zero tolerance in its athletics programs for the group messaging and texts sent by several members of the men's varsity wrestling team. They are appalling, at odds with the core values of the university, violate team guidelines, and have no place in our community." What makes this story perhaps more upsetting than the Harvard story above is that Hudson Taylor, founder and executive director of Athlete Ally spent three years as a volunteer coach for the Columbia wrestling team beginning in 2010. During Taylor’s last year volunteering with the team, the seniors now involved

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were freshman. During their one year of exposure to Taylor's positive character and conduct, what they learned didn’t stick or else they simply pretended to share the same values of inclusiveness and equality as their university, their full-time coach and volunteer coach Tayor. From his time as a student-athlete at the University of Maryland where he was a three-time NCAA All-American wrestler and holder of several hall-of-fame records, Taylor has been an outspoken straight ally for the LGBT sports community. As the Terrapins team captain, he famously wore an HRC equality sticker on his head gear to show support for gay athletes and also kept the locker room a safe place, free of homophobic slurs. He shared his reflections on this current incident in the Columbia Daily Spectator, the university’s weekly student newspaper and they are worth reading: http://columbiaspectator.com/sports/2016/11/14/ reflections-wrestling-team-former-columbia-wrestling-coach. After an investigation, Columbia identified those who were not involved and cleared them for competition. Those who were involved have been suspended for various lengths of time; specific students’ names and their punishments were not revealed. However, Columbia’s athletic department has said the following: “In response to this incident Columbia Athletics has recommitted itself to promoting a culture of respect and inclusivity. For the wrestling team, this will include working with leaders like Hudson Taylor, who as Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally, has become an admired advocate of ending discrimination in sports.”

DANIEL SUAREZ BECOMES FIRST INTERNATIONAL NASCAR CHAMPION Mexican-born Daniel Suarez has become the first Latin American-born driver to become a NASCAR champion in the sport’s 68-year history by winning the recent 2016 Xfinity Series championship. Part of the Joe Gibbs Racing Team, Suarez is a product of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program intended to help young drivers of different races and ethnicities as well as females to gain opportunities and compete in NASCAR.

PRESIDENT OBAMA AWARDS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO 3 SPORTS FIGURES For his final time, President Barak Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country’s highest civilian honor to 21 distinguished honorees “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Among them were three Hall of Fame sports figures – Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Michael Jordon, two great legends of basketball and Vin Scully who spent 67 seasons announcing Dodgers baseball. Congratulations to all the recipients!


SPORTS QUIZ

GREG LOUGANIS, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL-WINNING DIVER AND LGBT ADVOCATE … for being chosen to receive the 2016 AIDS Service Center NYC’s Changemaker of the Year award.

FIRST OPENLY GAY BOXER ORLANDO CRUZ … for thanking the LGBT community for their support as he recently tried to become the first openly gay boxing champion. After being defeated in the recent WBO Lightweight Championship by Terry Flanagan, the winner revealed his sister is a lesbian so he was unfazed by Cruz’s sexuality and called Cruz “very brave” for coming out.

A. The famous tennis tournament is played on grass.

THUMBS UP THUMBS DOWN

?

Q. In tennis, what type of surface is Wimbledon played on?

Source: Fun Trivia

JERRY TILLERY, NOTRE DAME’S DEFENSIVE END … for kicking a SoCal Trojan opponent in the head (missed by the refs), then stepping on another’s leg when both players were lying on the turf. The separate 4Q incidents earned him only a 15-yard penalty and a chewing out from coach Brian Kelly.

NBA STAR LEBRON JAMES … for pledging to donate $2.5 million to support the Muhammad Ali exhibit at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. Ali was James’ champion growing up and he wants young athletes to recognize Ali’s legacy and the power of sports in social justice.

www.CompeteNetwork.com

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Petey Presents the 2016 Compete By Brian Patrick

Sports D

Photos Courtesy AMS Creative Imaging Photography

PETEY (COMPETE’S AWARDS ICON) IS HAPPY TO INTRODUCE you to the Seventh Annual Compete Sports Diversity Award winners. Held in Denver on November 10, the awards recognized outstanding individuals, teams and organizations for their on-going efforts to promote and support sports diversity. This year Denver was selected to host the event because of its broad reaching sports diversity community led by our co-host, Team Colorado. We've featured several winners more thoroughly throughout this issue and plan to feature additional honorees in forthcoming issues.

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Diversity Award Winners Tournament Champion Award Denver Women’s Mile High Club Blue: Team accepting.

As part of the the NGFFL, the Denver Mile High Club Blue was awarded the Tournament Champion Award for wins at both Chicago Pride Bowl and Gay Bowl XVI.

National Tournament Award

Pride Bowl: Matt Herek accepting. The National Tournament Award is presented to Chicago Pride Bowl. Part of the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL), this tournament was honored for its efforts in creating a women’s tournament division for the first time in the Pride Bowl’s history.

MVP Award Jodie Turner

As captain of the Denver Mile High Club, Jodie Turner was awarded the MVP Award for her efforts and encouragement on the playing field. In a surprise move, Jodie was selected by her team for this honor.

Spirit Award Allison Jones

The Spirit Award went to Allison Jones, an eight time Paralympic medalist in both Summer and Winter Games. She was the 2016 flag bearer for the U.S. Team in Rio and also helped design and produce specialized cycling gear for her teammate so he could make the Paralympics.

Molly Lenore Inspirational Athlete Award Chris Blanke

Chris Blanke was selected to receive the 2016 Molly Lenore Inspirational Athlete Award for overcoming numerous personal challenges in 2015-2016 and for his ongoing commitment to sports diversity, both as a player and a volunteer. The award was presented by its namesake, Molly Lenore.

www.CompeteNetwork.com

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Jared Garduno Sportsmanship Award Hank Cary

As the NGFFL’s outgoing commissioner, Jared Garduno selected Hank Cary to receive this inaugural award for his service as a flag-football referee. Where would competition be without knowledgeable and dedicated referees!

Colorado Athlete of the Year Award Jason Altamirano

For his dedication to the Gay Colorado Volleyball Association (CGVA), the Colorado Athlete of the Year Award went to Jason Altamirano. He serves as both a team captain and president of the organization and has been involved with GCVA for 13 years.

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Outstanding Local Sports Organization Award

Team Colorado: Penny Graves, Andrew Sterner and Ben Cowen accepting. Team Colorado was honored with the Outstanding Local Sports Organization Award for its ongoing efforts in uniting the local Colorado LGBT sports community.

Outstanding Sports Team or League – Dual Award Colorado Gay Rodeo Association (CGRA): Shane Carmichael accepting. Team Colorado AIDS/LifeCycle: Matt Hurley and Ryan Harris accepting.

The Outstanding Sports Team or League Award was given to both CGRA and Team Colorado AIDS/LifeCycle for their long-term commitments to sport and giving back to the LGBT community.


Outstanding Community Organization Award-Partner

One Colorado: Daniel Ramos accepting. One Colorado’s commitment to the community, including its One Vote campaign earned the organization this year’s award as the Outstanding Community Organization Award-Partner.

Outstanding Non-Profit Organization Award

You Can Play Project: Brian Kitts, Glen Witman and Jillian Svensson accepting. For its work nationally in sports equality to bring inclusion, safe locker rooms and respect for all athletes, the You Can Play Project was honored with the Outstanding Non-Profit Organization Award.

Outstanding Community Organization Award — High School

Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA): Bethany Brookens, Tom Robinson and Paul Angelico accepting. CHSAA, the governing body for all high school activities and athletics in Colorado, won the Outstanding Community Organization Award – High School for being a national leader in bringing full LGBTQ inclusion to high school athletics. The award was presented by Micah Porter, a member of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council.

Community Business Partner Award

Mile High Hamburger Mary’s: Christopher Malluck accepting. Mile High Hamburger Mary’s received this year’s Community Business Partner Award for their many efforts to support Denver’s LGBT sports community.

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Corporate Diversity Partner Award

JP Morgan Chase & Co.: Shana Barr, Amelia Estrella, Maura Schmidt and Kam Looney accepting. For the company’s ongoing support of its LGBT workforce, customer base and its dedication to supplier diversity, JP Morgan Chase & Co. was awarded the Corporate Diversity Partner Award.

PGA of America: Jason Mengel accepting.

The Professional Golfers Association of America was presented the Outstanding Professional Sports Organization Award for its work in championing LGBT small business in North Carolina and for its work in promoting sports diversity.

Outstanding Professional Sports Team Award

Groundbreaking Sports Organization Award

The Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL) was awarded the Outstanding Professional Sports Team Award for their commitment to sports diversity and to the LGBT sports community. The award was presented by Brian Kitts of You Can Play.

Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the United States and that effort is spearheaded by USA Rugby. The organization was presented with the Groundbreaking Sports Organization for its continued commitment to LGBT rugby teams and to promoting sports diversity within the U.S.

Colorado Avalanche: Deb Dowling accepting.

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Outstanding Professional Sports Organization Award

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USA Rugby: Jennifer Gray accepting.


Professional Athlete of the Year Award Gus Kenworthy

The Professional Athlete of the Year Award was presented to freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, six-time World Champ, Olympic silver medalist and five-time X Games medalist, for his openness and honesty in coming out as a gay athlete. Kenworthy is a role model for many young athletes in the newer extreme sports (and don’t forget he rescued dogs at the Sochi Olympics). The award was presented by NASCAR driver Stephen Rhodes.

The Legend Award Dave Pallone

Honored with the 2016 Legend Award was Dave Pallone who is truly a sports legend. Pallone was the first Major League Baseball (MLB) umpire to come out as gay after being publically outed. Since then he has lived his life very openly and has spoken to innumerable audiences about acceptance and support for sports diversity. He has also written a bestselling book, “Behind the Mask: My Double Life in Baseball” that is still available in print, in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and audible formats.

www.CompeteNetwork.com

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Female Athlete of the Year Award Sonya Jaquez Lewis

In a history-making moment, Sonya Jaquez Lewis was honored as Compete Magazine’s first Female Athlete of the Year. Sonya has been a life-long athlete, scholar, LGBT advocate and medal-winning tennis player. She has devoted her time to the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA), the founding organization of the WorldOutGames, rebuilding Team Colorado and helping other numerous non-profits in Colorado as well as her native North Carolina.

Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year Award Jeremy Ballard

The Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year Award, Compete’s oldest award was presented to rugger Jeremy Ballard for his unwavering dedication to the sport of rugby; that includes not only co-founding the Colorado Rush, an International Gay Rugby (IGR) team but also to training new players and motivating returning players to achieve a competitive level of play. Rugby also has given him personal motivation to return to school for a degree in exercise science with a minor in nutrition in order to help LGBT individuals living with HIV and suffering from depression, loneliness and poor body image issues.

Please join Petey and all of us at Compete Magazine in congratulating all of the 2016 Compete Magazine Sports Diversity Award winners. This impressive group of athletes, teams and organizations are all working to make the sports world more diverse and equal. To quote the tag line of the You Can Play Project, these award winners are sending the positive message to the world that “If you can play, you can play.”

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www.CompeteNetwork.com

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2016 MVP AWARD HONOREE JODIE TURNER

To be included in our MVP section, e-mail: MVP@competenetwork.com


AGE: 33. HOMETOWN: Eunice, Louisiana. CURRENT RESIDENCE: Denver, Colorado. SPORT(S): Flag Football. OTHER SPORTS PLAYED: Tennis, golf, softball, basketball, rugby. INTERESTS: Harry Potter, football, theme parks, hanging out with my favorite people, and spending time with my dogs. BEST PHYSICAL FEATURE: Dimple and eyes. FAVORITE ATHLETE: Carli Lloyd. WHY YOU LOVE SPORTS: I enjoy the strategic side of all sports and the community that is built while playing team sports. WHAT’S YOUR STORY? I am an only child, born and raised in South Louisiana. Even though my parents have always been supportive of me, I joined the military at 21 to get out of the South. Joining the military was one of the best decisions of my life and has led me to meet amazing friends that are now my family. I am the co-owner of Link Light Networking and currently work in the IT Department for a school district outside of Denver. My dad unexpectedly passed away two years ago and it has forever changed my outlook on how short life can be. I am incredibly thankful for the people in my life who continue to support and encourage me to be a better person on and off the football field. I am also thankful for the support from the Denver Gay and Lesbian Flag Football League and for my Mile High Club family. GREATEST PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT: Serving in the United States Air Force for eight years. ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENTS: Success with the Denver Mile High Club. IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY WHAT WOULD YOU TELL/TEACH YOUR YOUNGER SELF OR IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HOPE TO TEACH THE YOUNGER GENERATION THAT MAY BE LOOKING UP TO YOU? I would like to tell my past self to enjoy every moment with friends and family because life is short. I would tell the younger generation to always be yourself and never let other people’s perception of you impact your abilities in sports and life. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS? To continue leading the Denver Mile High Club in future tournament success and supporting the growth of the Women’s Flag Football Division/Community. Also, to progress my career in information technology and to one day build a family and share my love of sports with my children. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT LGBT AND DIVERSITY IN SPORTS? Every athletic sport should continue to create safe spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We deserve to feel proud of who we are, everywhere we go. Sexual orientation and gender identity do not impact our ability to play sports but our strength and resilience do! We should continue to value all aspects of diversity in athletics, and be an ally to each person we meet.

Photos courtesy of Jodie Turner.


INTERVIEW

2016 MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD HONOREE

JEREMY BALLARD: A SPORTS DIVERSITY ASSET ON AND OFF THE PITCH BY BRIAN PATRICK COMPETE MAGAZINE NAMED JEREMY BALLARD as its 2016 Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year (AOTY) at its Seventh Annual Sports Diversity Awards last month in Denver. Jeremy represents the best of what it means to carry the AOTY title – he is an athlete who isn’t afraid to step into a leadership position as part of his commitment to supporting gay sports in particular and the LGBT community in general. Since he is a rugby player, Jeremy says the name of Mark Bingham as part of the title has deep meaning for him. For those who don’t know, Mark Bingham was the rugby player and activist who lost his life on 9/11 as one of the passengers on Flight 93 credited with storming the cockpit, thus preventing the terrorists from reaching their target. And since rugby was the sport of Compete’s founders, in 2013 the Athlete of the Year award was renamed to honor Mark and his life’s work both on and off the pitch.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JEREMY BALLARD

BP: So how has that first rugby experience shaped who you are today? JB: Although I am not paid, I like to think of rugby as a career. I played with the Storm from 2007-2009. The RFC stands for rugby football club and those clubs are all part of the International Gay Rugby (IGR) organization. The Storm is a predominantly gay team or inclusive team as they have come to be known more recently.

Brian Patrick: Congratulations for being awarded Compete Magazine’s oldest honor, Jeremy! What drew you to rugby? Was it the first sport you ever played? Jeremy Ballard: Thanks, Brian. I didn’t have a lot of direction when rugby found me in October of 2007. I had ideas of who I wanted to be but nothing ever seemed to pan out. I grew up playing sports both at school and with the neighborhood kids. But sports at school were tough. Those around me in my small New York town had a knack for harassing me. The harassment eventually pushed me out of sports. When I began to come out in the early 90s I didn’t know any gay athletes. In fact I thought gay people didn’t play sports. Over time, in my mid-twenties I started to discover gay sports leagues. BP: Was that when you started to play rugby? JB: No, I joined volleyball for a while and thought it was fun but it did not push me or tap into my competitive drive. When I was a kid I always wanted to be the fastest runner or the best tackler, even if I was smaller than my peers. When I spotted a friend I hadn’t seen in a while tossing a huge ball at Octoberfest in Phoenix, I had to inquire. I told him if he could pitch the concept of rugby to me I would check it out that Tuesday when the Phoenix Storm RFC practiced. That was on Sunday and Tuesday could not come soon enough. I attended that Tuesday training and never looked back. That was just over nine years ago. Since then I have had many successes and many adversities throughout my journey. (Contiunued on page 28)

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nagaaasoftball.org (636) 3NAGAAA

Play Out at a NAGAAA Tournament Tournament Dates for the Remainder of 2016 Bourbon Street Classic ................... New Orleans, LA ...............12/09/16 - 12/11/16

Upcoming 2017 Tournament Dates Sin City Shootout............................. Las Vegas, NV....................01/12/17 - 01/15/17 Orlando Meltdown ........................... Orlando,FL .........................01/13/17 - 01/15/17 Gasparilla Softball Classic ............... Tampa,FL ............................02/17/17 - 02/19/17 Lone Star Classic .............................. Houston, TX .......................03/18/17 - 03/19/17 Southern Shootout .......................... Birmingham, AL .................04/14/17 - 04/16/17 Big D - Easter Bonnet Classic ....... Dallas, TX ............................04/15/17 - 04/16/17 Tournaments listed as of 11/25/17. For a complete list of NAGAAA tournaments and dates, visit nagaaasoftball.org.


INTERVIEW

2016 MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD HONOREE

For a short period in late 2009 to early 2010 I played with a predominantly heterosexual and Pacific Islander team hoping to up my skill set. But in early 2010 I moved to Denver where I joined another IGR team at the time called the Denver Wildfire RFC. It was a newer club and had a joint relationship with the Denver Harlequins, so as the Wildfire was building its players, they were to get their playing experience first with the “Quins.” At the first Wildfire training I met Nicholas Miller who stood out as a super competitive athlete. We had many of the same beliefs and principles when it came to sports, and in October 2010 we decided to create our own IGR club that would be competitive in spirit. We founded the Colorado Rush RFC six years ago and to date, I have been a co- founder, club manager, captain, recruiter, a receiver of accolades, etc. The biggest thing though, is that I have been privy to personal growth both within me and my teammates BP: What kind of growth is it that you see as a result of playing rugby that drives your commitment to the game, Jeremy? JB: To see how rugby changes you and the people in your life is incredible. Rugby is my first love and my longest love; my relationship with rugby goes beyond just me – I am constantly trying to educate and encourage others to get involved with the team. I always hope my passion is perceived as enthusiasm, drive and love for what I do. Our season is broken into two parts. At the beginning of each season we have a rugby 101 training session. I always do my best to take rookies under my wing to groom them, to push and educate them so they are at the level of the rest of the returning players. I’ve seen many over the years with a wide range of athletic gifts, knowledge and talent but they don’t use those things to help others. In my mind our team is only as good as our weakest player so it is critical that those of us with experience bring those around us without that experience up to our level. As a leader I also try to discover what drives individual players to help them unleash something inside them that they may have not realized was there. This goes for returning players, as well. We can sometimes become stagnant, so by reaching out to our peers and pushing one another, it only helps sharpen our years of experience. It pushes us to

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become better players, teammates, communicators and in the end, brothers. BP: I hear that you’re working on a college degree. Does that have anything to do with sports? JB: Yes, I am working to get a degree in exercise science with a minor in nutrition because I saw how much rugby was helping me and I wanted to help others. I especially want to help those members in my community who I know often suffer from depression, loneliness and poor body image issues. Some living with HIV often think they are incapable of doing any type of physical activity or playing a sport. I want to be able to make a difference in those people’s lives. Rugby has helped me define my career goals and I am on the verge of completing my first degree. It has helped me to get into better shape, it has helped me with depression and loneliness and it has helped me to feel more confident in my being. It is not just the camaraderie that does this nor the fact that your body can still be physically standing after three days of an international tournament – it is the physicality as well as the emotional and mental demands it places on you that builds your confidence. Rugby gives me a purpose and a community that is not just local or national but international. I have people in every pocket of this magnificent world that I can call friends, brothers and sisters. If it weren’t for rugby I would not have seen an opportunity in me to transform myself and to help others. BP: Do you have any future rugby plans you’d like to share? JB: I wouldn’t give rugby up for the world. I plan on playing rugby for as long as I am physically able. I already have a number of goals in the short term; I am planning and training for rugby’s international Bingham Cup 2018 tournament in Amsterdam. I am also training for my first track and field events and for playing 7’s rugby at my first Gay Games in Paris in 2018. BP: Well, we’ll definitely be seeing a lot of you on the sports scene, Jeremy. And thank you so much for your deep commitment to sports diversity and inclusion, and for representing rugby so well.


ATHLETE

2016 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD HONOREE

SONYA JAQUEZ LEWIS: SHE LEADS; SHE PLAYS; SHE LOVES SPORTS BY CONNIE WARDMAN CONGRATULATIONS GO TO SONYA JAQUEZ LEWIS, Compete’s 2016 Female Athlete of the Year (AOTY). Kevin Brauer was Sonya’s co-president of Team Colorado (TC), the non-profit organization that serves as an umbrella for LGBT sports in the state. In his nomination letter for her he says of Sonya, “She leads; she plays; she loves sports.” She is also Compete Magazine’s first female AOTY. Sonya’s love of sports and her strong commitment to leadership and LGBT community activism are all hallmarks of a Compete AOTY. It began in her teen years in her native North Carolina just as she was beginning to figure out that she was gay. When thinking about what she wanted to be when she grew up, in Sonya’s own words, “I wanted to be a scholar, an activist and an athlete. And why not?”

Photo by Katelynn Fortenot

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Why not, indeed! Sonya possessed all the early qualifications to meet her life goals. Already a good student, after being captain of her junior high basketball team, starting pitcher of her high school softball team and playing on several league-winning tag football teams in college, Sonya’s passion for sports eventually turned to tennis in her senior year at the University of North Carolina. Having won several singles tournaments in North Carolina, she earned the Presidential Award for tennis in 1992. And once she met Martina Navratilova at a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tournament, Sonya realized she’d found her sport for life and joined the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA). Recalling her high school years, Sonya thinks she used sports and scouting in high school to “feel comfortable

(Continued on page 32)


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ATHLETE

2016 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD HONOREE

with my newly-recognized sexuality.” But when she got to college she was the first woman to run for student body president in the almost 200-year history of the school. Her office run was based on her commitment “to reduce homophobic incidents that were occurring on campus and to fully implement the newly announced Title IX rules for female athletics.” She also founded the North Carolina LGBT Pride Marching Band in 1987 and the Durham County Women’s commission in 1988. Eventually moving to Colorado, Sonya brought along her passion and commitment to sports diversity. According to former TC co-president Kevin, in 2007 the organization was in disarray. Calling her a “mover and shaker,” he writes that Sonya “almost singlehandedly saved Team Colorado from extinction.” From reactivating the organization’s 501(c)(3) status to helping LGBT teams and organizations host special events and enlarge existing programs, the organization has grown into one of the most respected umbrella groups for gay and inclusive sports in the U.S. Working in 2010 with volleyball player R. Tony Smith (Compete Magazine’s 2014 AOTY), they launched SportsFest in 2011, the largest regional LGBT sports festival that featured 10 sports and hundreds of participants. That led to Out Front, a digital media network for the LGBT and allied community, recognizing TC as one of the most influential groups in Colorado. In addition to encouraging many athletes to get involved and become leaders in their respective sports from local up to international levels, Sonya has been active with both the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) and the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA), the founding organization of the World OutGames. As an FGG board member Sonya worked hard in 2013 to combine FGG and GLISA to create a United World Games. Her motion came within one vote of uniting the two gay sports organizations. But she hopes that “eventually, we as leaders in the LGBT sporting community can bring the Gay Games and OutGames back together, thus uniting all LGBT athletes.” Perhaps one of the best parts of Sonya’s move to Colorado, however, was meeting her tennis partner and now wife, Allison Lotspeich. As women’s doubles partners and members of USTA, Sonya and Allison have competed in tournaments all over the world, winning medals along the way. And in the summer of 2014 at Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, Ohio, Sonya achieved one of her personal goals to be the best doubles tennis player of her ranking in the gay sports world. Calling it a lifetime dream come true, Sonya won the highest award a doubles player can attain

at a Gay Games, the double gold – the gold for women’s doubles with Allison and the gold for mixed doubles. Sonya has successfully incorporated her early goals of being an athlete, scholar and activist into an integrated lifestyle. As a licensed pharmacist and published author, Sonya is also an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado. And the Boulder County Board of Commissioners appointed her to their Board of Health, giving her a dual opportunity to promote a healthy and fit lifestyle for all those lucky enough to come in contact with her. We think Kevin Brauer’s assessment of Sonya is right on target – “She leads; she plays; she loves sports.” So please join Compete Magazine in congratulating Sonya Jaquez Lewis as its first female AOTY. She is a most deserving honoree!

L - Allison Lotspeich, R - Sonya Lewis Photo courtesy of Sonya Jaquez Lewis

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SPORTS

SIN CITY SHOOTOUT TURNS 10 BY HARRY ANDREW FROM JANUARY 12-15 THERE WILL BE OVER 8,500 athletes, coaches and fans representing 25 different sports congregating in Las Vegas to help celebrate the Sin City Shootout (SCS) turning 10. Starting with A for arm wrestling and ending with W for wrestle and grapple, almost any sport you can think of will be participating in what is now the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world. So much for the myth that gays don’t play sports! This weekend festival just continues to grow. The SCS staff makes sure it all runs smoothly and that all the parties taking place each night are fun … and loud. Then each sport has a coordinator who organizes the playing schedule and logistics for the weekend. The newest sport to join SCS this year is diving and the person acting as its coordinator is David Freedman who served as one of the coordinators for the Olympic diving competition at the summer games in Rio. Any sport not already represented that is interested in participating is always invited to contact tournament director Eric Ryan. Ryan also happens to be the founder of the SCS and was named as a 2016 Connect Sports Game Changer for being “at the top” of his game as well as the SCS being named a 2016 Champion of Economic Impact in a midto-large market by Sports Destination Management. But how did all this happen? It certainly didn’t start with a big tournament, only with a big idea. As an athlete traveling to tournaments, what do you do about expensive and less-than-adequate transportation and accommodations to areas with great fields; or the reverse, where the transportation and accommodations are great but the fields are lousy? If your name is Eric Ryan, an out softball player with a Type-A personality, you start your own tournament and create it from a player’s perspective. And ten years ago next month, that’s exactly what he did. He strategically selected Las Vegas because air fares and accommodations there are always plentiful and well-priced. With the year-round lure of casino gambling and high-end entertainment, that seemed like a nobrainer. But what about sports? Unless you have a travel or Chamber of Commerce background that actively promotes all types of local attractions, sports doesn’t necessarily come to mind when you think of “Sin City.” The nice surprise for many is that Las Vegas, infamous for being Sin City, has a very athletic and sporting side to it. There are a number of great outdoor and indoor venues for sports like softball, flag football, basketball, tennis and golf that are either public or attached to local concerns, like

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the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus or public golf courses, for example. And given its history as a western town before it turned to glitz and glamour, Vegas also has an equestrian center with specialized accommodations for horses that even include climate controlled stalls. All this factored into Ryan’s long-term plans back in 2007. He dreamed of creating a large tournament where athletes in multiple sports could compete during the day and then socialize after the sun went down. With Vegas able to accommodate a growing tournament, the next decision was to hold it over a holiday weekend for maximum attendance and Martin Luther King holiday in mid-January fit the bill. But the genius in his plan was to save money for individual athletes, teams and leagues. As a member of the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association (GLASA), Ryan proposed that GLASA take on all the exposure and liability in order to use its large buying power to get the best venues and prices on everything from room rates to travel. In 2008 his dream became reality. That year there were 40 softball teams (figure 15-20 people per team) that came to play, a figure that grew to 70 teams in year two. By 2010 they decided to add basketball to the tournament play, followed in 2011 by five sports and over 4,000 people involved. Quite a change from the 25 sports and the anticipated 8,500 people participating in 2017! So start 2017 on the right foot by having the time of your life playing sports, catching up with old friends, making some new ones and dancing till you drop. You won’t regret it since “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” If you’re planning on heading to the SCS, however, be sure to register early since the host hotels sell out quickly each year. For more information, go to www.sincityshootout.com.


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SPORTS

HELP SEND ATHLETES AND ARTISTS TO PARIS 2018 GAY GAMES 10 BY MIRIAM LATTO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE enough to attend one of the Gay Games know what a wonderful life-changing experience it is. And now the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) Scholarship Program has just been offered matching funds of up to U.S. $20,000 by Martha Ehrenfeld and her wife, Carla McKay for monies donated to the fund now through December 31, 2016. If you read Martha’s story in the November “Faces of Sports” issue of Compete Magazine, you know that the Gay Games has made a significant impact on her life. In fact, she met and fell in love with Carla, her women’s tennis doubles partner while training for the 2010 Cologne Games. They married that year and actually honeymooned at the Games where they also won the gold medal in women’s B doubles tennis. Describing her Gay Games experiences, Martha says that when you are able to come together in one place with a huge group of LGBT athletes, it is “a uniquely positive and powerful experience … that inspires you to reach out and help others who think they are alone.” As a result, she and Carla have been active donors to the scholarship fund

for many years. Their hope is to inspire people to donate so that deserving but economically-challenged athletes and artists from underrepresented populations and regions of the world will have an opportunity to enjoy what many of us take for granted. A true celebration of diversity and inclusion, the dates for Gay Games 10 are August 4-12, 2018. The amount of scholarship money in U.S. dollars needed to send a deserving athlete or artist to Paris in 2018 is broken down as follows: • $2,500 covers airfare, registration costs and meals for 10 days. • $200 covers registration costs for one participant • $50 covers one person's meals for two days The importance of the scholarship fund is shown by Gay Games 9 in 2014 when the FGG was able to provide support to 47 recipients from the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Slovenia and Sri Lanka. The FGG Scholarship Program is funded in part by the Roy M. Coe Scholarship Fund that

Pictured above, Henry Beam, Beam Law, PLC

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since 2002 has been helping to bring participants to the Gay Games. As we reflect on our own giving during this holiday season, it is worth remembering founder Dr. Tom Waddell’s vision of an Olympic-inspired competitive sports festival for the global LGBT community that would really be open to everyone who wanted to take part – there would be no requirements or qualifications to participate. Although it’s been 35 years since Dr. Waddell shared his idea with others in the LGBT community, his founding principles for the Gay Games – Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™ -- still apply. Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 is on track to bring Dr. Waddell’s vision of a welcoming, inspiring event to life once again; a vision that has now grown into the world’s largest gay-oriented quadrennial sports and cultural festival. It is anticipated that 15,000 athletes, artists and others from 70 countries will participate in a broad menu of 36 different sports, 14 cultural events and multiple conferences based on the motto of Gay Games 10, “ALL EQUAL.” The Paris 2018 organizing team includes former members of the FGG board and leaders of the Paris sports and cultural communities. With support from the city of Paris, the Ile de France region and the national Ministries of Sports, Culture and DIGES (the inter-ministerial delegation for large sporting events), Paris 2018 Gay Games

10 involves the entire Parisian community as well as other communities from across France. The FGG board of directors for 2017 that recently met in Sydney, Australia (shown below) includes Martha Ehrenfeld who is willing, as the saying goes, to put her money where her mouth is. So please take advantage of the generous offer she and her wife are making. The FGG requests your support by donating to the Gay Games Scholarship Fund before the end of December by going to: www.gofundme.com/fggscholarship. And please be sure to share your own story, as well.

L-R: Front row: Sophia Rodriguez, Sean Fitzgerald, Joanie Evans, Martha Ehrenfeld, David Killian. Back Row: R. Tony Smith, Cillian Flynn, Shamey Cramer, John James Moriarty-Hickey, George Melichar, Leviathen Hendricks, Doug Litwin, Kurt Dahl, Les Johnson, Eddie Young, Bill McManus, Ken Hundrieser, Mike Myers, Anthony Alston, Armin Lormann. Not Pictured: Kimberly Hadley, Jan Schneider, Carl Schultz

www.CompeteNetwork.com

| COMPETE | 37


NUTRITION

HEALTHY HOLIDAY CELEBRATING BY MIRIAM LATTO THANKSGIVING GENERALLY STARTS THE ANNUAL round of holiday entertaining that can wind up blowing your budget and your waistline. But Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers six tips for a healthy holiday celebration that enables you and your guests to enjoy the gathering without increasing “waste and waist” and negatively impacting the environment. Try adopting a health theme for this holiday, showing that healthy holiday entertaining doesn't have to be tasteless or Spartan. It does, however, require a shift from the “more is more” holiday entertaining mentality where you strive to impress your guests with expensive, often extra rich and fattening food choices. It needs be reframed into one that values everyone’s long-term health, gives the host or hostess time to actually enjoy the company without anyone being filled with guilt while at the same time reducing the environmental impact. It also eliminates the extra days or weeks in preparation and cleanup. And if you’re a busy person (and who isn’t these days), saving extra time and effort is a good reason all by itself.

1. START WITH A SALAD Begin your meal with a simple salad. It ups your veggie intake for the day and will help you and your guests not to overeat. By filling up on nutritious foods first, there’s less temptation to overeat later on. When you can eat fewer calories and reduce food waste, you’re creating a win-win not only for your health and your guests’ health, you’re also helping the environment.

2. STEP IT UP Squeeze in extra steps by parking further away from the stores you frequent and get rid of the anxiety and aggravation over competition for the closest parking spots. And if you can walk to the store rather than drive, you’re not only increasing your daily count of steps and saving on gas you’re also reducing your carbon footprint.

3. WOW WITH WATER If you normally buy sugary beverages in plastic bottles or cans for a get-together, try serving infused water with your meal, instead. Experiment – try adding an orange, cucumber or mint to produce an unexpected and refreshing flavor burst.

4. BEWARE THE BUFFET Buffets can be an enticing invitation to overeat, even when you’re not really hungry. And if you possess the willpower to stop eating, then you wind up throwing the food away. The best approach is to start with small portions and don’t feel you need to try everything on the

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buffet. If you’re still hungry after finishing your plate, go back for more of your favorites. But pause beforehand, giving your body time to digest a bit.

5. SHOWCASE SIMPLICITY Rather than spend your efforts impressing guests with a multitude of fancy dishes, focus on cooking fewer dishes filled with nutritious ingredients. Then, rather than wind up feeling overstuffed, you and your guests will be left feeling nourished and satisfied. Fewer dishes also reduce the amount of energy spent cooking as well as saving time, effort and water when doing the dishes.

6. REDEFINE DESSERT For most of us, dessert has come to mean cakes, cookies, pies and other specialty baked goods, especially during the holidays. But skip baked goods this year. Instead, come up with foods that are better for you and require less energy to prepare. For example, a simple spread of fruit that’s nicely arranged in a holiday bowl or platter. You can also include nuts and dark chocolate, and for a special add-on, a small glass of liquor. If you’re also exchanging gifts with your guests, consider giving a healthy gift. It can be something like a bottle of high-quality olive oil or vinegar, some of which are coming in new, exciting flavors. Or make a healthy homemade snack, like roasted chick peas in a glass jar with a handmade tag. Or you might consider an herb seed kit or a gift of nuts that offer protein and healthy fats. And what about a gift of some special dark chocolate? Who doesn’t love chocolate! But it doesn’t need to be about food. Try something like a pedometer, a water bottle or even a sleep mask for help getting a deeper, more restful night’s sleep. You can also give a board game that keeps multiple people involved in playing and being social instead of just eating. Wishing you and yours very happy, healthy holiday celebrations this year.


FITNESS

THE SOLE OF ATHLETES: CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHOE FOR YOUR SPORT

BY BRYAN LEE WHEN IT COMES TO PLAYING SPORTS, WE ALL have one thing in common. No matter what sport we play, we are all faced with the same challenge – finding the right shoes. Although we might want the prettiest and/or most colorful shoes, sometimes those aren’t the practical choices. Great consideration is taken when buying sports equipment like gloves, racquets, padding and clothing. But the area in which we sometimes skimp is the shoe department. I recently sat down for a chat with James Harrison, owner of the website, Sole of Athletes, a site that acts as a virtual mall with links to suggested shoes at leading retailers. Sole of Athletes also provided my shoes for the 2014 Gay Games (gold-medal-winning shoes, I might add!).

Bryan Lee: What made you decide to start a website dedicated to athletic shoes, James? James Harrison: I decided to start the website because of my love of playing tennis. I have a large foot that is devoid of arches. And every time I went to look for new tennis shoes in a brick and mortar store I could never find ones that fit my “special-needs” feet (laughing). Or if I did, they just looked boring. So I decided to start an affiliate store site that would carry shoes that you often don't see in brick and mortar stores. I also decided to add some discussion on shoes for specific sports as well as carry sale announcements. BL: Perhaps the most important question is as an athlete, what things should we consider when looking for new shoes to play our sport of choice? JH: The specific sport should be considered first and foremost. Sure, a certain brand of cross-trainers may feel

comfortable for working out at the gym but they may not provide the correct level of cushioning or stability needed for the more dynamic movements of tennis. Second, the surface where you play the sport needs to be considered. The gum rubber sole used on a badminton shoe would provide too much grip on a tennis court and would never hold up on a tennis hard court. Third, comfort should be considered. Certain manufacturers make models that are narrower or wider than others. Materials may make the shoe feel heavy or light. If you have ever rolled an ankle before and are concerned about a repeat, maybe a mid-height shoe for more ankle protection would add to your comfort level, both physically and mentally. Fourth should be style because we all like to have a little style in what we wear! BL: Is there really any danger in choosing a shoe that is not quite right for our sport? JH: The danger in choosing the wrong shoe is having foot pain, something that will definitely take away your enjoyment of playing your sport. Shoes that don't fit correctly can also create or exasperate other issues, such as blisters or corns, neither one of which makes for very pretty feet. In addition, wearing shoes that are not compatible with the surface on which you are playing your sport can take away your sure-footed ability. You may slip or slide when you are not expecting to or not be able to move as freely as you expected to. It can even cause a painful fall or crash. Fast footwork is just as vital to hitting that crosscourt backhand in tennis as it is to delivering the knockout punch in boxing. The soul of an athlete drives the sole of an athlete. It is vital for the soles of athletes to be supported by proper athletic shoes and accessories for their sport. Dedicated players deserve athletic shoes designed for their specific sport. BL: James, thanks for spending time with me educating Compete readers about the importance of choosing the proper shoes for their sports of choice. If you have questions regarding shoes for your specific sport, you may contact James by visiting his website at www.SoleOfAthletes.com.

BRYAN LEE is a National Exercise & Sports Association (NESTA) certified personal trainer, life coach and author who has lost over 130 pounds. Please check with your personal physician before using these health and fitness tips.

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OVERTIME

EVENTS

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CURRENT EVENTS IN DECEMBER AQUATICS SPMS SCM Championships Commerce, Calif., Dec. 2-4

VOLLEYBALL LAVA Classic VIII Louisville, Ky., Dec. 10

WORLD T.E.A.M. SPORTS CHANGES LIVES THROUGH SPORTS WORLD T.E.A.M. SPORTS HAS OPENED REGISTRATION for its Inclusive 2017 Face of America Bicycle and Hand Cycle Ride Annual Event that includes adaptive military veterans. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York since 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens that include mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking and more. The organization says that four things always happen at their events: 1. Disabled participants build self-confidence and physical fitness 2. The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up physical activities 3. The disabled become a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see that disabled individuals can meet challenges beyond anyone's imagination 4. The disabled and able-bodied participants learn to work as a team to overcome those challenges. Scheduled for April 28-30, 2017, the mid-Atlantic journey for adaptive and able-bodied athletes ends at the historic Gettysburg Civil War battlefields and honors military veterans with disabilities from all service branches. An anticipated 650 able-bodied civilians, active duty and retired military cyclists will ride alongside nearly 200 adaptive veterans in two-day routes of 110 and 120 miles. The classic route begins near the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, while the northern route begins at George Washington's winter

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602-285-2929 44

| COMPETE | December 2016

encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Both routes join together on April 30 in downtown Gettysburg, riding the last few miles as one group to an inspiring finish at the Eisenhower Hotel's Allstar Expo Complex. The non-competitive Face of America event is fully supported for participating athletes, with overnight stays in Frederick, Maryland and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All athletes receive a commemorative jersey at on-site registration along with a gala kick-off dinner. At the Gettysburg conclusion, riders and volunteers enjoy together a celebratory outdoor lunch. Support and participation in Face of America has increased significantly since 2006, making the ride the non-profit's most popular athletic event. At the 2016 ride, more than 130 of the 550 total participants were military veterans and civilians with disabilities from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Denmark. Face of America first ran in 2000 as a cross-country relay with teams of disabled athletes traveling from each coast and meeting under the St. Louis Gateway Arch. In 2002 and 2003, the ride honored the victims of the September 11 attacks and traveled south from Ground Zero in New York to the Pentagon. In 2006, the Face of America was re-envisioned as an inclusive ride to honor those who have been injured or disabled while serving in the military. Over the next ten years, participation by disabled Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans has increased, growing from a few dozen in 2006 to more than 100 in 2016. Each participating civilian, retired and active duty military rider raises funds to support the participation of the adaptive athletes from family, friends, co-workers and colleagues. Adaptive athletes receive lodging and meals at no cost with their complimentary registration. Fundraising also covers event costs, including meals, ride permits, facility rentals and event jerseys. Any remaining funds following expenses are applied to upcoming World T.E.A.M. Sports events, including Colorado's Adventure Team Challenge, New York's Coastal Team Challenge and other life-changing athletic events for disabled and able-bodied athletes. To register or for more information, go to the race website at worldteamsports.org/events/face-of-america/ face-of-america-gettysburg/.


STYLE

BY BOBBY CILETTI, STYLE EDITOR

WINTER SKIN SAVIORS BOBBY IS A TRAVEL AND LIFESTYLE EXPERT AND FOUNDER OF THEDAYSOFTHECHIC.COM. TWITTER @BOBBYCILETTI

WINTER IS COMING. FOR MANY OF US IT MEANS cooler temperatures, new routines and changes in our skin care needs. To preserve your skin, it is vital to understand these changes and adjust accordingly. Here are some of the most common skin concerns for winter as well as tips for making sure you’re putting your best winter face forward.

DRY SKIN Even if winter does not bring you extremely cold weather, it still can mean dry weather for even warm and sunny destinations, the reason for dry skin being such a common concern. This means moisturizing is your best line of defense. If you have oily skin and can avoid moisturizers in summer, still consider adding a light moisturizer and hydrating serum during winter months. For those already experiencing dry skin, amp up moisture with a heavy cream and use a body lotion every time after you shower. Consider your needs both day and night. If your office temperature is mild but you have the heat on all night at home, this may require a different night regime. Hydrating mists can keep skin revived throughout the day and humidifiers can keep moisture in the air in the evening and nighttime hours.

CLEANSING This tip is simple. In winter you want to avoid foaming cleansers at all costs. They are harsh and strip the skin, often causing additional skin concerns. Look for milky, cream-based or oil cleansers that will gently cleanse your skin without sacrificing needed moisture.

EXFOLIATION Exfoliation is still an important skincare step for many reasons, like preventing blemishes, dullness and sagging. The best tip for exfoliating in the winter is using a product

that is less abrasive rather than using an exfoliant less frequently. For the face, look for exfoliatants that will give your skin something back, like those containing oils from citrus and nuts. For the body, give yourself a good scrub down with a luffa (a.k.a. loofah) or body scrub. And definitely do not skip the body cream afterward.

SENSITIVITY Many people suffer from sensitive skin regardless of the season. Winter, however, can be particularly challenging because of the many geographic extremes. If you fall into this sensitive category, it is important to do your research and really test patches of your skin before it has its own version of a coup d’etat, revolting against your entire regime. It is also a good thing to avoid products with alcohol, sulfates and fragrances which can further irritate your skin.

REDNESS Winter air can be brutal for those who suffer from mild redness to full-blown rosacea, a condition that causes redness and often small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face. The combination effect of extremely dry and cold air packs a powerful punch. Depending on the severity of redness you may need to consult a dermatologist for a topical prescription. You can also look for skin soothers containing calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients, like lavender, licorice and rose.

DULLNESS A glowing complexion can be the bright spot in your day. Maintaining that healthy glow is really the cherry on top of a flawless face. But it is easier said than done, especially if you are experiencing some of the harsher symptoms of winter skin, like dryness, sensitivity or redness. Exfoliation helps here, but we can go a step further. Buffing skin with a Clarisonic sensitive brush is very beneficial as can be sponges and fine facecloths. Just be cautious with any tugging or pulling of your skin. Also, look for brightening serums with vitamin C and skin plumpers containing hyaluronic acid.

BOBBY SAYS SPF is not just your friend in the summertime. Find a lightweight facial SPF of at least 30 to layer with your favorite facial products to keep you protected throughout the winter.

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