POLO PLAYS IN FLORIDA
SALT LAKE CITY
RUGBY RUCKS AND ROLLS INTO
SPORTS TRAVEL & TOURISM ISSUE
OUT IN RICHMOND, VA
TRAVEL ISSUE 2018 • April 2018 $3.95 • COMPETENETWORK.COM
18 OUT Richmond’s Many Lures
APRIL 2018 TRAVEL & TOURISM ISSUE COMPETENETWORK.COM SPORTS 14 Polo Spreads Sport & Inclusion Across Borders 26 Rucking & Dragging Our Way to Amsterdam DESTINATIONS 30 Visit Liberal Salt Lake 34 Go Gay Games With Ace World Travel 36 Palm Springs Has it All SDLC 32 U niting Sports, Sponsors, Travel & Tourism TRAVEL 38 Travel Tips for 2018 HEALTH 40 Time Zone Trouble GYMBAG 44 Hot Items You Shouldn't Do Without
Do you love to Compete? Get with the game and shop our online store, subscribe to Compete Magazine, read the hottest news blogs and check out the latest videos online at CompeteNetwork.com. COVER INSET Cover Athlete – Gus Larrossa Sport – Polo Photographer: Barre Dukes, Phelps Media Group
MILLENNIAL ON SPORTS: FROM THE SPORTS EDITOR
TRAVELING FOR SPORTS
BY DIRK SMITH
or our travel issue I wanted to share with you what has made me love travel so much. My first real “adult” trip was an adventure from my Denver home across the mountain, braving severe turbulence and jagged peaks all the way to beautiful … Salt Lake City, Utah! While not the most adventurous of my trips, what made it special wasn’t so much about where I was going but instead, why I was going. I was attending my first swim competition in another state with my swim teammates; we ventured over the Rockies together for the annual Queer Utah Aquatic Club Ski-n-Swim weekend. I had never really considered Salt Lake City as a “must visit” destination since to my inexperienced tourist sensibility, there wasn't much to offer unless you were really into Mormons, skiing or salty water. Yet of all the trips I have taken since then, that trip still stands out because of the wonderful memories and amazing friends I made during that weekend. Because of swimming I have gotten to travel all over the world. I’ve seen many different countries and had adventures that I never could have imagined, from meeting celebrities and trying new foods to even learning a new language. And of course the best part is all the amazing friends I’ve made. It is such a wonderful feeling to have a purpose for your travel. At the 2014 Gay Games held in Cleveland, Ohio, many people balked at the thought of going to Cleveland – you heard lots of “Why would they hold the Gay Games there?” Granted, Cleveland seemed an odd choice to me; it’s not exactly the first place I would think about visiting but none of that really mattered. What really mattered was that I was going to the Gay Games no matter where it was being hosted. Then from the moment I stepped off the plane my trip was filled with wonderful experiences; friendly people, tasty restaurants, roller coasters and so much more. And that was before the competition even started. I didn’t think much of Cleveland beforehand. But having a specific reason to travel there for the Gay Games and having wonderful experiences with the local people helped changed my preconceived notions about the city. That is not the only time I have had such a great experience in a city that some people might not consider excitingly travel-worthy. Edmonton in Canada’s Alberta province; Limerick, Ireland; Austin and San Antonio, Texas as well as Greensboro, North Carolina are just a few examples. Of course, my experience in these cities might have been enhanced by the excitement and accomplishments of the event but the end result was a lasting sense of connection. Regardless of where you travel to compete, the best part is the people you will meet. Every sporting event needs volunteers to help with a variety of tasks and the event organizers are often residents of the host city who are happy and proud to show off their home town. And because it’s a community effort, the volunteers are as deeply invested in your experience as you are. Chatting and getting to know some of the volunteers who are generously giving you their time and effort so you can compete at your best is a really rewarding experience. Not only do you make fast friends, you also get to know the city more intimately because they can offer great tips and suggestions of things to experience. You might even create your own cheering section. Expanding your horizons by taking in the scenery and culture of a host city is important – it’s what Mark Twain says is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” And after a solid competition, I might even treat myself to a leisurely day of fun at the local amusement park as a reward. Whatever that “reward” is for you, you can rest assured that it’ll be a great way to end your trip on an amazing experience that you’ll remember for years to come. And have I mentioned the next Gay Games are in Paris in August? That’s going to be a fun trip!
Dirk Smith, SDL Sports Editor email@example.com @competedirk
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SPORTS DIVERSITY IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS BY JARED GARDUNO
dult sports tourism is a relatively new travel niche spawned largely by LGBTQ+ and allied recreational athletes who play for small-to-large sports organizations around the globe. And the continued growth of their amateur sports tournaments and events has proved to spark positive economic benefits for host communities as well as the businesses large and small that partner with them. This January an article in the Advocate, “The LGBT Economy is America’s Future” by Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell stated that, “If the total contributed value of the estimated 1.4 million American LGBT business owners is considered, our [LGBTQ community members] input to the economy is over $1.7 Trillion. That would make LGBT Americans the 10th largest economy in the world.” Most of the planning for these local-to-international tournaments in the past has been done by volunteers. At the recent LGBTQ Events Summit held by Connect Sports and Nike, Connect vice president of meetings and events Patrick Higgins, SDL said, “So many individuals that own and operate LGBTQ sporting events are volunteers. The days of them trying to navigate the ever-changing world of sports tourism by themselves is over.” The price tag of hosting a tournament is both expensive and time consuming. Sports organizations have leaned on local volunteers to help raise money to provide the ultimate entertainment experience for athletes and spectators alike. Now, thanks to Connect and Nike, sports organizations are learning about the numerous tools and resources that are available so organizations can focus on increasing tournament attendance. And attendance equals a heavier economic community impact for a host city or region. NAGAAA, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is a large international sports organization that has been holding multiple annual softball tournaments for over 40 years, including their annual flagship Gay Softball World Series. Their inclusive membership of gay and straight athletes continues to enjoy rapid growth; they have 17,000 active players, 1,000 teams, 46 member city markets and more than 40,000 members on their distribution list from across Canada and the United States. Another inclusive example is the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) where I served as a two-time league commissioner. Formed in 2002, the league has 200 teams in 24 leagues across the U.S. and Canada and plays its annual flagship tournament, the Gay Bowl, in a different member city each year. Our efforts to represent diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance in sports were evident at our 2017 Gay Bowl played in Boston where all five professional major league teams, including the New England Patriots sponsored us! Through tourism agencies or Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB), cities large and small are continuously looking for unique events to provide positive economic stimulation. And with that combined Trillion-plus dollar buying power of the LGBTQ+ members and their love for sports, the LGBTQ+ market makes perfect sense. Everybody wins when sports organizations, CVBs, Sports Commissions and third-party housing companies collaborate to showcase a specific destination. Sports organizations can increase membership on a local, national and international level; CVBs are able to increase hotel nights for the community and revenue for local business; Sports Commissions can increase attendance at venues the leagues need; and third-party housing companies can receive commissions from hotels while helping the organization sort through the numerous housing needs. For people who love to play sports, it’s always been about being active and making wonderful friends while playing the game they love. What continues to attract a diverse group of athletes to these teams and leagues has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s the fierce competition, the camaraderie and fun, the ability to give back to their host communities that keeps them involved. And the opportunity to bring these athletic weekend warriors together while helping communities increase visibility and visitors is a valuable partnership – a true Win-Win for everyone involved.
JARED GARDUNO, SDL firstname.lastname@example.org @jaredgarduno
8 COMPETE April 2018 Travel & Tourism Issue
LESS THAN 100 DAYS TO THE OPENING CEREMONY
COMPETE EDITORS SPORTS EDITOR David "Dirk" Smith With a B.S. in exercise science and nutrition from MSU Denver, David is ACSM, AFAA and AFPAI-certified and a medal-winning swimmer who conquered obesity by losing over 50 pounds. HEALTH EDITOR Dr. John Sutherland A graduate of Harvard and the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. John Sutherland is a board certified internist and cardiologist and the founder of the North Mountain Cardio programs for health and wellbeing. FITNESS EDITOR Jake Tommerup A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Jake Tommerup M.S. is an exercise physiologist, an ISSA-certified Master Trainer and the founder of RxErcise.
STYLE EDITOR Bobby Ciletti A graduate of Boston University, Bobby is a lifestyle and travel expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com, an online destination for simply elegant living. Twitter @bobbyciletti Advisory Board Ian Johnston, Uber Dr. William Kapfer, JP Morgan Chase Angela Smith, ASANA Jake Mason, USA Dodgeball SDLC Executive Advisory Committee Eric Carlyle, SDLC Patrick Higgins, SDLC, Connect Sports Catherine Kelly, SDLC, NAGAAA MISSION STATEMENT Compete unites the world through sports. COMPETENETWORK.COM FACEBOOK.COM/COMPETEMAG @COMPETESPORTS COMPETE MAGAZINE INSTAGRAM.COM/COMPETEMAGAZINE
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PUBLISHER/CEO Eric Carlyle • email@example.com COMPETE MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief Connie Wardman • firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor Dirk Smith • email@example.com Health Editor Dr. John Sutherland • firstname.lastname@example.org Fitness Editor Jake Tommerup • email@example.com Style Editor Bobby Ciletti • firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Heather Brown • email@example.com Graphic Designer Kristi Wayland • firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Harry Andrew, Ian Colgate, Ryan Evans, Jared Garduno, Aurelio Giordano, Kelli Kulick, Miriam Latto, Bryan Lee, Clay Partain, Brian Patrick, Benjamin Roussey, Elaine Wessel , Andy Winder. Staff Photographer Ariel Stevens • email@example.com COO/Consultant Barbara Harwell • firstname.lastname@example.org Sales & Operations Vice President Jared Garduno • email@example.com Administration Bethany Harvat • firstname.lastname@example.org SDLC Program Coordinator Raleigh Dombek • email@example.com Copyright © 2018 MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC All Rights Reserved. All Mail PO Box 2756 Scottsdale, AZ 85252 • (800) 868-5906 Corporate Office 6991 East Camelback Road, Suite D-300 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 West Coast Office 3415 South Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034 East Coast Office 100 Church Street, 8th Floor New York City, NY 10007 Compete is a trademark of Media Out Loud, LLC
Sports Diversity Leadership Council, Sports Diversity Leader and SDL are trademarks of Media Out Loud, LLC. Compete is available by subscription, online, on the Compete app, at local and national events and at 250+ pick up locations nationwide.
MARK your CALENDAR! TWIN CITIES HIT HOME RUN WITH 2018 NAGAAA CUP The 2018 NAGAAA Cup will be held in Minneapolis on May 26 and 27. The tournament will be held at Lac Lavon Parc, a complex that boasts six softball fields with 300-foot fences. Food and drink will be available at the fields. For more information go to nagaaasoftball.org.
CONNECT 2018 GOLF TOURNAMENT Sign up for Connect’s annual golf tournament now if you’re attending the Connect 2018 being held in Salt Lake City on August 23-25. The golf tournament is being held August 23 at the Ridge Golf Club. Don’t miss this chance to connect at Connect! For more information go to connectmarketplace.com.
NEW YORK GAY FLAG FOOTBALL LEAGUE TO HOST GAY BOWL XIX It’s official – the New York Gay Flag Football League (NYGFFL) will host Gay Bowl XIX on October 10-13, 2019. This is the second time since 2007 that New York City has hosted the prestigious event. The 18th Gay Bowl coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Movement. World Pride will also be held in New York City. New York beat out Toronto for the rights to host the tournament. For more information go to ngffl.org.
WNBA PREPARES FOR 2018 SEASON Where will you be on Friday, May 18? If you are like many WNBA basketball fans you will be watching the Phoenix Mercury host the Dallas Wings. Then on May 19 and 20 you can take in six more opening games played by the incredible women of the WNBA. For more information go to wnba.com.
HIGH FIVE for Sports Diversity As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, Compete Magazine gives out High Fives each issue to deserving athletes, teams, leagues, organizations and corporations for their sports diversity contributions. Here are five who get a High Five for a job well done! ADAM RIPPON, OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDAL-WINNING FIGURE SKATER … for receiving the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Visibility Award. As the first out gay male to compete and win a Team USA slot to represent the U.S. in the PyeonChang Winter Olympics, Rippon said he knew coming out was an important opportunity to shine a light on a subject larger than he. ROBERT KRAFT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OWNER … for offering without hesitation the use of the Patriots’ 767 jet to Parkland students (some wounded and still recovering from gunshot wounds) and their families so they could attend the recent March for Our Lives rally. Kraft said he thought it was a way for the Patriots to reach out to people who are badly hurt, saying he can't think of a worse or more unnatural thing than losing your child. MIKE SCHULTZ, PARALYMPIC GOLD MEDAL-WINNING ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARDER … for designing and engineering his own prosthetics as well as those of other adaptive athletes and amputees. All lower-body amputees at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeonChang were outfitted with a Schultz prosthesis and the company also sponsored three athletes – Brenna Huckaby, Keith Gabel and Noah Elliot who all medaled in their competitions. Schultz started his BioDapt company in 2010 following the loss of his leg in a snowmobile accident. WADE DAVIS, GAY FORMER NFL PLAYER … for holding an additional anti-homophobia clinic for NFL coaches and staff following a team representative questioning recruit Derrius Guice if he “liked men” during the NFL Combine. Davis wants them “to understand the physical, emotional and spiritual cost to creating a hostile environment for gay male athletes.” RICK WELTS, PRESIDENT AND COO OF GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS … for his election into the Basketball Hall of Fame, the first openly gay man to be so honored. Beginning his career as an NBA ball boy, he worked his way up to the NBA league office playing a key role in creating the 1992 Olympic Dream Team and the launch of the WNBA. Welts came out in 2011.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.” Aly Raisman, Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast who is suing the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics for their roles in enabling Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of more than 160 women and girls.
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COMPETE READER SURVEY & GRANDSTANDING HOW MANY BAGS DO YOU PACK WHEN TRAVELLING FOR SPORTING EVENTS?
35% 1 BAG
LETTERS to COMPETE GRANDSTANDING Three Men, No Ladies? (March-April 2018) As usual the [Compete] swimsuit issue was hot. I really enjoyed seeing models of all colors but was disappointed that the layout only featured men. The lack of women in sports magazines seems to be an ongoing problem. Chrissy Harrison Seattle, Washington Editorâ€™s Note: We put out several requests for female models, including personal invitations but received no replies. We always like to include a variety of diverse athletes in our swimsuit issue. Hopefully your letter will prompt more women to take us up on the opportunity next year! Megan Rapin-OH! (March-April 2018) I picked up Compete to check out the swimsuit models but was more impressed that you had an interview with Megan Rapinoe. Megan is one of my heroes and I really enjoyed reading the great (but all too short) article. Give me more Megan, please! Raul Medina Palm Springs, California Please submit all Letters to Compete via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GAY POLO LEAGUE
SPREADS SPORT AND INCLUSION ACROSS BORDERS
Photos courtesy of Phelps Media Group
BY ELAINE WESSEL
Photo courtesy of Victory Cup NYC
ong regarded as one of the most festive and spirited polo events of the year, the Gay Polo League’s (GPL) flagship event returned to Wellington, Florida the first full weekend in April in the form of the 9th Annual Land Rover Palm Beach International Gay Polo Tournament. And once again it enthralled thousands of attendees with the sport of kings, a lavish tailgate competition and a positive message. Promoting the ideals of diversity and inclusion, GPL’s annual tournament is recognized as the only LGBTQ polo event in the world, uniting players and revelers from around the world for an amazing day of sport and charity.
An annual destination event, the 2018 GPL tournament once again attracted top polo professionals from the U.S., South Africa and Argentina to quarterback the four teams while non-professional players represented 10 additional nations from across the globe, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, England and Italy,
among others. A sport without borders, the international polo gathering consisted of both LGBTQ and straight or ally athletes playing with and against each other. “I am so thrilled with the incredible response we receive to the GPL Tournament each year. The growth of the event since its inception is astounding, and we are honored to have reached a level where GPL provides sport and entertainment experiences while spreading a message of acceptance,” said Chip McKenney, president and founder of GPL. “What began as a small club has grown into something bigger than just its members. We now offer world-class events to our attendees and have attained a status where we are able to use our events as a platform to provide for the LGBTQ community.”
As a 501(c)(3) taxexempt organization, GPL strives to take advantage of the widespread reach of its tournament by giving back to the local community. The evening before the final polo matches, GPL and its guests got colorful and creative with "GPL Polotini Presents Wigstock." This hair-raising event benefits Compass LGBTQ Youth Services in areas of education, health and homelessness. Its mission is to diminish stereotypes by challenging long-standing misconceptions about the character of the LGBTQ community. Net funds raised from the party with a purpose will be used to purchase several new computers for the Youth Center as well as health kits and food and shelter vouchers for at-risk youth. Although GPL invites players and attendees to its home in the Sunshine State each April, the league has racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles participating in and hosting other tournaments in different corners of the world. In December 2016, the same year in which GPL celebrated its tenth anniversary as a United States Polo Association-designated polo club, the organization fittingly hosted its first international tournament in Argentina, the Mecca of polo. Eight members of GPL had their passports stamped for a chance to play and learn from four-time Argentine Open champion Eduardo Heguy, one of the best in the sport while also spreading the message of equality that GPL fosters. GPL has twice competed in the Victory Cup, one of America's largest equestrian events and polo matches, and in 2015 GPL was victorious in the Victory Cup Polo Match held in Austin, Texas. Invited once again in 2017, the team made the journey as a repeat contender to Governors Island, just 800 yards from Lower Manhattan to compete below the iconic skyline in the signature Victory Cup Fall Classic Polo Match. Looking forward toward the autumn of 2018, GPL is slated to add to its international repertoire as the host of a new tournament at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club just outside
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London, England. This upcoming tournament will solidify GPL’s event presence in three continents, no small feat for a niche sporting organization. After the incredible turnout and abundant praise for the 2017 four-day event, the Annual International Gay Polo Tournament was honored as the LGBTQ Sporting Event of the Year at the Connect Conference - Sports Marketplace held in New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2017. For the first time in the conference’s history, the Sports Tourism Excellence Awards included the "LGBTQ Sporting Event of the Year" category, making GPL the inaugural winner, a testament to the event's impact on not just the local polo community but also the national LGBTQ and sporting communities at large. Founded in 2006, GPL is committed to providing its members around the world an enjoyable, supportive and competitive experience regardless of age, ability level, profession or background. While some players have been competing for years in the saddle, plenty have never sat on horse before joining the league. “Our goal is to provide a safe place for active people to enjoy the excitement of competition and the camaraderie that comes with team sports. We welcome everyone from the LBGTQ community and beyond to participate and compete, or just cheer us on from the sidelines,” commented McKenney. “Our common ground lies in our shared desire to meet and engage with other individuals while enjoying the challenging and beautiful sport of polo.” Boasting a long list of loyal players and spectators from around the world, GPL and its tournaments have grown beyond the boundaries of its native South Florida. Now both a host of and a participant in polo tournaments spanning the globe, the LGBTQ organization is continuing to break barriers through sharing its message of diversity, inclusion and acceptance. In 2019 GPL’s crown jewel will return to the winter horse capital of Wellington, Florida for its 10th Annual International Gay Polo Tournament, eagerly celebrating a decade of success. For more information on the Gay Polo League, please visit www.gaypolo.com.
OUTDOORS DAVID SH
18 COMPETE April 2018 Travel & Tourism Issue
of Kate Thomps on
o fully appreciate the menu of James Beard Award-nominee David Shannon’s Oregon Hill eatery (which, according to Condé Nast Traveler resembles a collaboration between Liberace, Andy Warhol and Nick Cave), you have to know and appreciate Richmond, Virginia. “Vegan Orgy on Texas Beach” isn’t just a banger of crispy papadoms or papadums if you prefer. This is a nod to a place – one of Shannon’s favorite spots along Richmond’s James River. And that’s just one of the innumerable gems tucked away in what’s fast becoming one of the hottest small-to-mid-sized cities in the U.S. After landing on Forbes’ “10 Coolest Cities to Visit in 2018,” earning the #2 spot on TIME’s 2017 ranking of the “25 Cities Where Millennials are Moving,” and joining Trivago’s list of “10 Under the ‘Gaydar’ LGBTQ Cities,” it’s safe to say the River City’s secret is out. ANNON
BY RYAN EVANS
OUT IN RICHMOND'S OUTDOORS
Shenandoah National Park
Richmond Pocahontas State Park
Photo courtesy of
If anything could outshine this historic capital city’s national acclaim for its buzz-worthy art and restaurant scenes, it would have to be its robust network of outdoor offerings. In 2012 Outside Magazine named Richmond “Best River Town” in the U.S. Within the city limits there are dozens of parks, hiking trails and other recreational spots along the James River and more nearby amazing scenery, from the Dutch Gap Conservation Area and Point of Rocks in Chesterfield County to Echo Lake Park in Henrico. Just ask Shannon. He grew up ditching school to eat one of Richmond’s legendary Sally Bell’s box lunches in the bamboo reeds at Maymont Park. While he doesn’t get out on the water much these days he swears his boyfriend is on a mission to get him in a kayak soon for the first time since summer camp. “Most of my kitchen guys love to go fishing along different MBERLAKE SHANNON TI sections of the river from Texas Beach to Brown’s Island,” said Shannon. “I don’t get down as much as I want but my boyfriend is always down there. He is always rowing with Richmond Boat Club or kayaking without me.” Just two hours south of Washington, D.C. and situated between Shenandoah National Park and Virginia Beach, the convenient location of the Richmond region means you don’t have to go far if getting outdoors is on your adventure agenda. Visitors are sure to have riotous fun at Shannon’s celebrated L’Opposum or the ever-popular local favorite, drag brunch at Godfrey’s. But good food and creative
culture are only a few of the lures that bring first-timers in and convince repeat visitors to return again and again. Part of being in Richmond is being outside in Richmond. Whether you’re up for rafting the nation’s only class IV urban rapids, conquering the James River park system or Pocahontas State park trails on a mountain bike or simply strolling Richmond’s Carytown shopping district, the city and surrounding counties have something for everyone. Beer aficionados will appreciate the region’s 31 craft breweries that are made easy to locate and visit thanks to the Richmond Beer Trail. Recently garnering accolades from both Hop Culture and Vinepair, Richmond’s #1 status as a craft beer destination comes naturally. Stone Brewing Co. calls Richmond its east coast home, and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery just opened its second location on the far west end of the region, just past the Short Pump Town Center. Historic Hollywood Cemetery, home to the final resting places of six Virginia governors and presidents John Tyler and James Monroe, is one of Shannon’s favorite walking spots when he needs a break from overseeing his restaurant’s eclectic pours of Shiny Blue Ball, French Tickler or Laura Palmer cocktails. There’s a catwalk above a pipeline running along the James River less than a mile from his restaurant that’s Shannon’s second favorite river area, saying that “The pipeline is particularly cool when the herrings are nesting.” And within eyeshot on any given day revelers might be sunning on the river’s rocks, rafting down the rapids or climbing the walls and boulders on Belle Isle just across the James River from Oregon Hill. Whether you’re planning a weekend trip to Richmond or looking to plant roots, there’s plenty to fall in love with here. Locals talk about the city’s boomerang
OUT IN RICHMOND'S OUTDOORS
Richmond... fast becoming one of the hottest small-to-midsized cities in the U.S. After landing on Forbes’ “10 Coolest Cities to Visit in 2018,” earning the #2 spot on TIME’s 2017 ranking of the “25 Cities Where Millennials are Moving,” and joining Trivago’s list of “10 Under the ‘Gaydar’ LGBTQ Cities,” it’s safe to say the River City’s secret is out. effect. Plenty of young urbanites move away only to return after they find everything they’re looking for is right where they left it. For natives such as U.S. Army veteran Ayana Obika, a permanent return to the area was not always inevitable. But ultimately the city’s energy kept pulling her right back in. “I raised my children here and still find myself in awe at just how beautiful Richmond is,” Obika said. A member of the board of directors of Diversity Richmond and founder of Gratitude Rising Events, Obika grew up crisscrossing historic Bryan Park in the city’s northside where she admired the landmark site’s hundreds of thousands of azaleas. This spot, like so many of the Richmond region’s beautiful attractions has a complex history. It is AYANA OBIKA
listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the site where Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved blacksmith at a nearby farm planned a slave insurrection later dubbed Gabriel’s Rebellion. The city’s challenging history is not lost on Obika who launched a walking tour of historical architecture she calls “Built by Blacks,” after a book by Selden Richardson. She got the idea on one of countless strolls with her beloved Chihuahua, Miss Tina. “The architecture is just so amazing in every neighborhood,” said Obika, “you just have to look past the unloved parts and imagine what it might have been. It’s gorgeous. And if you don’t get out of your car you miss that stuff.” Obika says she finds even the map of the area beautiful and she shares that beauty with anyone who will listen. “From the parks and trails to the arts and dining scene, there’s just so much to go and see,” she said. “Richmond’s a beautiful place. It really is such a beautiful place from Downtown Church Hill to the River.” Joining Shannon and Obika as unofficial Richmond ambassadors are Shannon Timberlake and Lance Johnson and all find time to unwind outside. That can mean powering through downtown, adjacent trails in Forest Hill that connect to the Buttermilk loop or seeking a quieter escape to Pocahontas State Park or Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County. Timberlake said she plans her adventures around the season. “I prefer the river when it’s quiet so my favorite time to go is around wintertime,” she said. “During the fall and summer, I love to get out water
Photo courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism
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hmond Reg tesy of Ric
He’s affiliated with the Richmond Volleyball Club which includes both straight and gay leagues. He’s also part of the Richmond Stonewall Kickball League that came to Richmond in 2017 and has continued a steady growth. Stonewall’s decision to expand to Richmond was a big deal for the local LGBTQ community and allies, according to Johnson. While the region doesn’t have any major league professional sports teams, Johnson notes that the Richmond region is home to several college athletic programs that carry more than their LAN CE JOHN SON weight in supporters. Johnson himself has spent decades working at the University of Richmond and said he’s enjoyed watching college athletes ascend to the ranks of the NFL. “Instead of hoping for more,” said Johnson, “we should really celebrate what we have. We host events and championships across every sport and level, and it says a lot that they chose the Richmond area.” The city was on international display in September 2015 when Richmond played host to the UCI Road World Cycling Championships and drew half million people to the region. Almost 800 representatives from 76 national federations and 40 trade teams registered for the events which took place over nine days.
rafting and water boarding. Finishing any day out with any one of the amazing restaurants we have around town is another great way to enjoy the region. Overall, I really enjoy just walking through the city and going on neighborhood food tours. There is so much history mixed with all the new businesses to walk through, it always makes for an interesting time.” Timberlake shares her love of trail walking with out-of-town guests and includes brunch and breweries in Scott’s Addition, a former industrial park turned millennial paradise replete with a handcrafted popsicle spot and a barcade (yes, a barcade). “After all that, strolling through Carytown is always a treat on the weekends, both for people watching and getting plenty of walking in,” she said. “The outdoor patio seating is a plus.” Carytown also is home to Babe’s, a Richmond LGBTQ icon that bills itself online as the city’s “Everybody’s bar.” It hosts some of the best drag nights in Richmond and even has an outdoor volleyball court. The city also houses a professional soccer team, the Richmond Kickers. Other favorite local sporting activities include taking in a minor-league Flying Squirrels baseball game or checking out the James River Women’s Rugby League. Among Timberlake’s favorites to watch are the River City Rollergirls, a badass group of women any one of whom could probably make John Cena cry.“It is definitely something to see,” Timberlake said of the derby. Johnson, a sports therapist, is a fan of both spontaneous and organized activities ranging from social leagues to solo walks around Maymont Park.
OUT IN RICHMOND'S OUTDOORS
OUT IN RICHMOND'S OUTDOORS Richmond has gone out of its way to embrace a longstanding bike culture and last year installed a bike share program with more than a dozen locations across the city where anyone can rent a ride 24/7.
Working every year to expand its dedicated bike lanes, Richmond has gone out of its way to embrace a longstanding bike culture and last year installed a bike share program with more than a dozen locations across the city where anyone can rent a ride 24/7. Take a spin through the city then head over to the Virginia Capital Trail, a beautiful and scenic 52-mile trail connecting Richmond and Williamsburg along the historic Route 5 corridor. Guided bike tours launch from all points around the city. Check out visitrichmondva.com for contact information. “You have to just get out and do something,” Johnson said. “Sporting is such a great route to meeting new people and getting out, from recreation leagues to just spending an afternoon walking the trails, Richmond’s social scene is so tied to the outdoors. Just explore and see what the city has to offer.” When the sun goes down and you’re ready for something different, you’ll quickly realize there is a reason Richmond’s dining and arts scenes are so vibrant. The abundance of so many amazing options has led to restaurants collaborating instead of competing; building off one another, they’re working to create a better overall dining scene for locals and visitors. “We have an incredible concentration of talent and energy with people of all levels of experience who are committed to doing something amazing and unique,”
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OUT IN RICHMOND'S OUTDOORS
Shannon said. “The fact that we have so many options is what has contributed to my success. The more creative people you have, the more cool and unique dining there will be.” At night Johnson likes to take in live indie music and bounce around the city’s network of watering holes. “Whatever you want to find, you can, and it’s all within walking distance of each other,” he said. During the day, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a perfect break from strolling the city’s Fan District. Ranking as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the U.S., thanks to its great outdoor patio and seating area you can enjoy The E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden. You might even run into David Shannon while he’s working out his next menu. “Sitting outside the VMFA is a great way to get outside around some great culture,” said Shannon. “The museum
is a great escape for me throughout the day, even for just a quick, 30-minute break. Whether it’s to clear my mind or work on menus, it seems to always help.” No matter what you’re looking for – kayaking, rafting, hiking, urban hiking, mountain biking and road biking, recreation leagues and more parks than you can count – Richmond either has it or is close to it. Some are a short walk away and some are a short drive, but they’re all close by. The best part of living here is discovering your favorite spot. Unlike many areas that sell themselves on their outdoor activities with little else to offer, the Richmond region includes a world class dining and an arts scene with more murals and galleries than you could visit in a weekend. There is no surprise most people who leave always come back. And those who come just to visit tend to stay.
GETTING TO AMSTERDAM BY
RUCK,MAUL, AND DRAG! Photos courtesy of Gotham Knights RFC
BY CONNIE WARDMAN
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his is the story of the New York City’s Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club (RFC) and its quest to travel to Amsterdam this June to participate in the 2018 Bingham Cup, the biennial world championship of gay and inclusive men’s and women’s rugby. This year’s Bingham Cup is being played June 8-10 but a full week’s activities are planned beginning on June 2 and running through the 11th.
Playing host for this year’s tournament are members of the Amsterdam Lowlanders RFC. They’re expecting an estimated 2,500 LGBTQ+ rugby players, staff, supporters and visitors from all over the world to join them for this event. With three divisions, in addition to the Bingham Cup there are also the Bingham Plate and the Bingham Bowl for divisional wins. And for the first time this year a women’s tournament will be included as part of the celebration. One of the most violent sports still being played today, rugby is also considered to be one of the most inclusionary. With no real protective gear, bleeding for your team is seen as a badge of honor that has absolutely nothing to do with your sexual orientation or gender preference or identity, hence the familiar term, “give blood; play rugby.” And the various positions on the team enable players of all sizes and shapes to be valuable contributors to the game.
SPORTS Many travel professionals are just now discovering that gay people play a wide variety sports on a highly competitive level that matches that of any professional athlete; also, the planning and organization of tournaments from local to international levels are handled by LGBTQ+ recreational athletes and their teams and organizations with little-to-no help from external travel professionals. That is starting to change, however. During the full week that most ruggers will spend in Amsterdam, there’s plenty of time for experiencing the best of the city’s attractions – in addition to the canal cruises, walking and bike tours that showcase the unique architecture, famous tulips and magnificent art museums, who won’t want to participate in the Heineken Experience and take selfies with the Lady Gaga and Brad Pitt wax figures at the Amsterdam branch of Madame Tussauds? Since winning the Bingham Plate at the 2016 Bingham Cup in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gotham Knights are a much stronger team than in 2016 and the club has its cap set to win the actual Bingham Cup this year. In addition to playing a grueling schedule of games – the tackle, ruck and maul part of the title – they’ve also been working tirelessly to raise the necessary funds through their annual drag show. This year’s show, “Drag Us to Bingham! Five Golden Years of Gotham Drag!” was held in April and all monies raised went back to the team to help pay for the trip. While I’ve used the word “quest” for their Amsterdam trip, perhaps “pilgrimage” is more fitting. But to fully understand why, there’s a powerful and inspiring back-story for ruggers everywhere thanks to one gay man, Mark Kendall Bingham. In fact, the tournament’s official title is the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament although it’s better known as the Bingham Cup.
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A graduate of the University of California/Berkley, Mark founded the Bingham Group, a successful public relations firm with offices in San Francisco and New York. But his real love was competitive rugby and in 2000 he was a founding member and team mate on the gay-inclusive rugby club, the San Francisco Fog. While on the east coast Mark had been discussing the founding of a new gay-inclusive rugby club in New York City with local rugby player Scott Glaessgen. Sadly, it wasn’t long after those conversations that Mark boarded United Airlines flight 93 to attend a friend’s wedding. The date was September 11, 2001. Mark is internationally acknowledged as one of the passengers on the hijacked flight that stormed the cockpit on that fateful day, causing it to crash in a rural field outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania instead of its intended target. He had no idea when he boarded the plane that day that in the face of certain death, his innate courage would help save untold numbers of people, straight and gay alike! Following Mark’s death, Glaessgen and other New York rugby players established the New York Gotham Knights RFC in 2001 and adopted blue and gold as team colors in honor of Mark’s Cal-Berkeley colors. In 2002 the Fog hosted the first Bingham Cup in San Francisco to honor their fallen hero. And in 2013 Compete Magazine changed the name of its oldest, most prestigious award from Athlete of the Year to the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year. This is intended to honor Mark and gay athletes like him who are working to use their leadership positions to bring about diversity, inclusion, acceptance and equality for everyone through sports.
SALT LAKE Welcomes You! BY CLAY PARTAIN
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Salt Lake’s roots for hosting sporting events runs deep. In 2002 we hosted the most successful Olympic Winter Games to date. Our aspirations for hosting another Olympic Games might soon come true since Salt Lake just announced its intention to bid for the 2026/2030 Olympic Winter Games. Continuing the massive success of the 2002 Games, Salt Lake has kept all the Olympic venues well-funded and fully operational. For these reasons, Salt Lake is naturally a much stronger contender than most other destinations in the U.S. or even the world. Visit Salt Lake has long recognized the value and potential of LGBTQ+ sports events, and we’re pleased to see other Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) and sports commissions become more aware of that potential. We’re extremely proud of joining the Sports Diversity Leadership Council this year and look forward to a bright future of hosting even more LGBTQ+ events.
Photo courtesy of Jon Burkholz, Visit Salt Lak
As the liberal capital of a conservative state, Salt Lake accepts and warmly embraces the LGBTQ+ community. So it was no surprise to locals when several years ago the Advocate magazine named Salt Lake “The Gayest City in America.” And we recently celebrated the election of Salt Lake’s first openly gay mayor, Jackie Biskupski. Since her election the citizens have applauded her efforts to further integrate the diverse aspects of the local culture. Like Mayor Biskupski and the several openly gay city council members, Visit Salt Lake (VSL) both recognizes and embraces the community’s diverse culture. VSL is a proud member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and one of our senior staff members is a member of the IGLTA Foundation’s board of directors. Visit Salt Lake has bid for and hosted a number of LGBTQ+ sporting events, such as the National Gay Basketball Association, the International Gay Rodeo Association, the National Gay Flag Football League, Gay Ski Week as well as a variety of local sporting events, such as softball, bowling and aquatics. Salt Lake is home to over sixty unique venues so we can accommodate nearly everyone and every sport. One of our shining stars is the new Salt Lake Regional Athletic Complex (RAC) that opened for business in 2016. This premier facility boasts 16 highly manicured fields and is located just seven minutes from downtown Salt Lake and seven minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, making it one of the country’s most accessible multi-field venues. The RAC has successfully hosted events such as the U.S. Lacrosse WCLA Championships, USA Rugby NIA7s Championships and U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Presidents Cup. Located in the center of downtown, the Salt Palace Convention Center offers over 500,000 square feet of contiguous competition space with 30 foot ceilings. Serving as the 2002 Olympic Winter Games media center, the Salt Palace has hosted dozens of high level athletic events, including the 2012 USA Volleyball U.S. Open Championships, 2016 USA Weightlifting Olympic Trials, 2017 USA Fencing National Championships and the 2018 USA Taekwondo National Championships.
SDLC BUSINESS OF SPORTS
Pictures from Facebook: L - January 2017 meeting in Las Vegas; R - November 2017 meeting in Denver
UNITING SPORTS, SPONSORS, TRAVEL & TOURISM
TO CRAFT THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS
he business of sports diversity continues to grow each year. Major corporations such as MillerCoors, Toyota, Orbitz and many others see the value in partnering with sports organizations both to create brand awareness and to show their support of sports diversity. Local businesses, like real estate agents, financial planners, insurance agents and bars and restaurant often join in to support sports teams, leagues and organizations, too. The Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC), a division of Media Out Loud, was created in 2014 to introduce sports groups to prospective sponsors, to provide training and support to sports organizations and to assist the groups in sharing best practices with each other. The first Sports Diversity Leadership Conference was held in Las Vegas in 2016 during the Sin City Shootout (now the Sin City Classic) where it brought together a number of organizations that included among others the National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL), the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) and Athlete Ally. During that initial conference members affirmed there was a real need to work together and to support each other in building their respective organizations. Over the next year the SDLC continued to work with its members to develop the Sports Diversity Leadership (SDL) designation and SDLC certification program with a plan to introduce the SDL designation program by the next year. As agreed, the SDL designation program was announced at the second Sports Diversity Leadership Conference held in Denver in 2016. By 2017 the SDLC had further developed its programs at the Sin City Classic and began a year-long business development plan to assist and train sports organizations and individuals to become leaders in the within the sports diversity community. This past February the SDLC partnered with Connect
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Sports to present the SDLC’s business development, certification and designation programs at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, where the SDLC and its programs were well received. As part of its business development program the SDLC supports its members in building and promoting their organization’s tournaments. Part of the service is site selection which includes the selection of appropriate host cities for large travelling tournaments. Most recently the SDLC is working with WeHo Dodgeball, Amateur Sports Alliance of North America (ASANA) and other SDLC members to create a sports festival in Richmond, Virginia; the SDLC is currently working with a number of prospective sponsors to support the new festival. Richmond Region Tourism is undergoing SDLC-T Certification and both WeHo Dodgeball’s owner and ASANA’s commissioner have earned the coveted SDL designation from the Sports Diversity Leadership Council. The SDLC has also assisted its members in securing housing accommodations and in booking over 3,000 rooms in the month of March alone; that includes 2,000 rooms in Temecula, California through SDLC member Yin International. We invite you to join us in this business approach to sports diversity, its organizations and its athletes because in the final analysis, it’s still about people who love to play sports! To learn more about the SDLC and to get involved, please visit sportsdiversityleaders.com.
JOIN US TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THE POWER OF SPORTS COMMUNITY
WWW.SPORTSDIVERSITYLEADERS.COM SPORTS DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL IS A TRADEMARK OF MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC
The Gay Games X Await You! BY AURELIO GIORDANO
“Gay Paree” … the term meant something completely different when it was coined at the turn of the 20th century. The French capital has always wooed visitors with its reputation for fine dining, high fashion, love and romance …. all things “the gays” are known to admire. With the decriminalization of homosexual relations in 1791, one could say France has historically been keen on LGTBQ+ acceptance. Since it hosted EuroPride in 1997, Paris (and the rest of France) has been working hard to promote and sell itself as a leading destination for gay travelers. In fact, in 2001 Paris elected Mayor Bertrand Delanoe as its first openly gay mayor. He led that year’s Pride parade that had a record 500,000 attendees; today it now draws over a million. There are many areas of the city where the community can enjoy all the specialties of French culture: the Marais, a residential and entertainment district for the LGBTQ+ community; Pigalle and its former lesbian cabarets; the Palais Royal, the place for male encounters in the 18th century, and even Père Lachaise cemetery with its tombs of well-known gay icons. Gay Paris has existed for a very long time and a range of guided tours now enables visitors to discover its proud heritage. Extending a welcoming attitude to all foreign visitors, Paris now has one of the biggest gay scenes in all of Europe, including gay-oriented spots for going out, hundreds of excellent restaurants and bars and even more opportunities to be guided and welcomed in the city’s beautiful historic center. And with same-sex marriage legalized in 2013, Paris officials are “encouraged by a trend toward greater tolerance,” according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). As a travel agent, I am a long-time member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Founded in 1983, IGLTA is the world's leading network of LGBTQ+-welcoming tourism businesses. Personally, I have experienced a rise in the amount and quality of incoming LGBTQ+ tour operators and travel agencies from France. The rise has been so significant that the Paris CVB has become an official IGLTA-featured destination. Its website, en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themedguides/gay-and-lesbian-paris is full of important and handy information. The effort from French tourism officials, particularly in Paris to promote it as a welcoming LGBTQ+-friendly travel destination has been so prominent that Paris won
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the bidding to host this year’s Gay Games. Since the first Gay Games in 1982, the Federation of Gay Games has promoted equality in and by sport and culture and ensured that the Gay Games take place every four years under its founding principles of participation, inclusion and personal best. Taking place in Paris from August 4-12 for a Celebration of Diversity, Gay Games X will offer 36 sports, 500 competitions and 15,000 participants representing 70+ countries. This year’s games are being organized by Paris 2018, a non-profit organization with a primary focus to promote, organize and deliver a sporting and cultural event open to all that is a model of social cohesion, mutual aid and sharing. It enables gay people from around the world to attend an event that values diversity, equality and solidarity. While in Paris this past November I had the pleasure of meeting with the exclusive incoming operator handling all the tourism logistics for the entire Gay Games, hotel accommodations, airport transfers, pre- and post-tours, etc. I am one of the few agencies in the U.S. to partner with them and extend their resources and services to all those wishing to go to Paris during this time or any other. Whether your goal is to attend the Gay Games, visit Paris for the first time or to return for further exploration, I can help you get there and take care of it all from A-to-Z! Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or call 347-915-4287, Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (EST).
Has it all
BY MIRIAM LATTO There are lots of great places to stay in the Palm one of the special events, like the White Party, the Dinah Springs area and some of our favorites are the Aqua Soleil Weekend, Dining Out for Life! or the Coachella Festival Hotel & Mineral Water Spa, Omni Rancho Las Palmas and and are simply looking for some fun nightlife, there the Riviera Palm Springs." Located at the base of southern are some great places for a single or group bar crawl., California’s Santa Rosa Mountains, the upscale, gayespecially those located on Arenas Road in Palm Springs, friendly town of Palm Springs is believed by many to be a haven for gay bars just off famous Palm Canyon Drive. the absolute jewel in the crown of all the Sonoran Desert’s But if you’re really on vacation, it’s time to pamper famous vacation destinations. The town is one of nine yourself and a great choice might be the Aqua Soleil Hotel that make up the Coachella Valley; sister-cities include & Mineral Water Spa that takes advantage of the mineralCathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian rich aquifers located in Desert Hot Springs. Spa therapies Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage, range from the classic Swedish and Deep Tissue massages and all of them are packed with reasons to visit the area. to customized anti-aging wraps and facials. Of all its many draws, it’s the Palm Springs weather The only given about making the Palm Springs area that beckons people year-round. Only 487 feet above sea your travel destination is that there are lots of choices and level, the area is known for 330-350 days of sunshine, an you definitely won’t be disappointed! annual rainfall of less than six inches and mild spring temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. Even in the winter, it’s one of the rare places where you can bask in the warm desert sunshine while enjoying the snow-topped mountains surrounding you. There’s just nothing like green grass, lush landscaping, palm trees swaying in warm, gentle desert breezes and adult beverages to let the relaxing begin! If you’re into golf and tennis, it’s the perfect place. Known as the Golf Capital of the western U.S., Palm Springs and its surrounding sister cities are home to top-flight tennis facilities as well as 110 world-class golf courses, many of them challenging courses designed by well known professional golfers and golf course designers. If you want to improve your game, you’ll also find great schools and clinics, many of them staffed by professionals, as well as rentals, equipment sales and repairs. Palm Springs has a wide and wonderful variety of individual eating places in addition to all the fabulous resort restaurants, and between them, they serve every imaginable type of cuisine. From fancy restaurants, bars and piano lounges and outdoor cafes to the best burgers, you’ll never go hungry. And after dinner, it’s time to sample the fun social scene From major events to the regular nightlife, there’s sure to be a place where you can live out your nightlife fantasies. If you aren’t headed for
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TIPS FOR HAPPY, SAFE TRAVEL IN 2018 BY HARRY ANDREW Travelers in 2018, particularly those traveling internationally should consider both their travel dollars and their personal safety before embarking on a trip to a popular or exotic location. Even if you didn’t earn your safety badge as a Boy or Girl Scout, you’ll find as a traveling adult it still pays to be prepared! Here are some important tips from a variety of travel professionals. First on your list? Make sure you have a passport. And if you already have one, make sure it’s still current. Doing this early on means you’ve eliminated lots of unnecessary frustration and extra expediting fees if you leave this to the last minute. Take a safety class. A good one is the web-based DepartSmart’s Travel Hero Safety Certification. Starting with the geopolitical context to help with health and wellness, geography and housing to travel insurance, this program puts you and your trip on solid, informed ground right from the start. Next, sign up for the government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service enabling U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It allows you to get important information about safety conditions in your destination country so you can make informed decisions about your travel plans. It also notifies you in an emergency from a natural disaster, civil unrest or a family emergency. If you aren’t already working with a savvy travel advisor, get one! Always up to date on the latest changes in travel, hotel and car rental information, a good agent can get you booked early to get the best discounts. They also can keep you out of trouble. For example, many of the popular Caribbean
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islands have been ravaged by hurricanes. So if a laid-back island beach vacation is still your dream, your qualified travel agent can help you find alternative islands if necessary. Julietta Jameson from Traveller.com offers some important information, first being a ban on suitcases with GPS tracking. A number of international and domestic airlines are banning bags from both the cargo hold and cabin if their lithium-ion batteries can’t be removed. Fortunately, there are already luggage manufacturers that offer smart luggage with easily removable batteries. Remember that as of January 22, all U.S. citizens flying in the country will be required to have a “Real ID-compliant” license or similar compliant document to get through TSA security. To avoid check-in delays and confusion, early airport arrival is highly recommended. Pay attention to large events that could impact your travel plans. For example, the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 in London will draw a huge police and public presence. Or soccer’s World Cup being held in Russia from June 14-July 15 where there will be extra tight security due to clashes between English and Russian fans at Euro 2016. The warning is that even chanting in the street may trigger strong security action. LGBTQ+ community members and allies should also stay aware. If you’re an app person, travel writer and Forbes contributor Elva Ramirez says to update your favorite travel apps days before the trip and then again on the night before you fly and turn on the notifications! She calls TripCase her “most indispensable travel app,” and recommends that if you only get one travel app, this is the one to get since it’s a trip manager. For international travel Ramirez recommends Mobile Passport to avoid waiting in a long line to see a U.S. Customs Agent. Once you fill out your flight information on your phone and answer the usual customs questions, you receive an electronic receipt good for three hours. Once deplaned, you enter a dedicated line that is much faster. It’s free and authorized by U.S. Customs. Although it’s only in use at 24 airports and one cruise port, more locations are being added soon. Her final app recommendation is a free currency calculator, CalConvert that takes the guesswork out of currency conversions with a real-time calculator that converts various units in over 150 currencies in 24 languages in addition to offering basic calculator functions. Ready to go? Then pack your bags – we’re going on vacation!
TIME (ZONES) BY DR. JOHN SUTHERLAND
irst, the good news: Gay Games X are being held in Paris this August. The bad news? Traveling from the U.S. to Paris will guarantee that we arrive at the Games jet lagged. So what exactly is jet lag and how do we fix it?
Blame jet lag on the moon, that handy object that popped up in our sky four and a half billion years ago. Before there was a moon, one earth day was only four hours long. Now fast forward 30,000 years – a day on earth has now lengthened to six hours due to inertial drag. And by the time bacteria appear, a day lasts up to 12 hours. Homo sapiens are latecomers to the party, however. We arrive to find our days lasting for 24 hours, and it’s this last time interval that eventually becomes programmed into our 10 trillion cells and coordinates their interactions. Though this circadian rhythm is referred to as an “internal clock,” it’s actually linked to the external world through our eyeballs’ connections to 20,000 specialized brain cells. These cells readjust our internal clock daily to the “first light to first light” interval that our eyes detect in external physical reality. It’s an elegant system that assures the synchronization of inner time with time in the external world. Of course this mechanism evolved over eons in animals that moved at “normal” velocities, not the 550 mph cruising speed of a Boeing 747. So what happens if we travel to Paris from New York flying at that velocity? If we leave New York at 4:30 p.m., we’ll arrive seven hours and 30 minutes later – that’s midnight on New York time. But since clocks in Paris are six hours ahead of those in New York, it’s six a.m. in the City of Light. Our internal (New York) clock is saying “It’s bedtime” while the external world (Paris) is telling our brain, “C'est l'heure de se réveiller” or “time to wake up.” Brain and reality are not in alignment! The neurons in the brain’s clock mediate deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and the effects of physical fatigue. Not surprisingly, we experience symptoms of fatigue, disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability and digestive distress result when we confuse them. So what’s a body to do?
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In the Days Prior to Travel One helpful approach is to regulate our light exposure using this general rule in the days prior to our travel: Traveling EAST – increase morning light exposure and decrease evening light exposure Traveling WEST – do the opposite and decrease exposure to light in the morning and increase it later in the day.
In heavily sunny areas like Phoenix in August, several days before flying to Paris I would get outdoors earlier every morning while wearing dark glasses, and in the evening I’d stay indoors and go to bed early. The theory is simple: changing the timing of light exposure resets the brain’s master timekeeper in the direction of conditions in Paris. The website www.jetlagrooster.com provides a calculator to help us time our light exposure. It also sells dark glasses and light boxes for those living someplace where the sun doesn’t shine. We can’t eliminate jet lag, but with some advance planning we can help ameliorate it for a happier trip.
HOT ITEMS YOU SHOULDN'T DO WITHOUT
e welcome you to Compete Magazine’s 2018 travel issue with an assortment of terrific “must have” accessories for the savvy 2018 traveler. Whether your trip is domestic or international or whether it’s for a tournament or just for fun, we hope you have the time of your life!
UPPEL ALL-IN-ONE WORLDWIDE TRAVEL ADAPTER Charge all your devices safely when traveling abroad with this Uppel Travel Adapter that covers 150 countries within US, EU, UK & AU; has 2 dual USB ports & is sold by UPPEL-TECH & fulfilled by Amazon. Compact size like a Rubik’s Cube (3.3 x 2.6 x 2.5 inches).Can charge 3 devices at same time; has FCC, CE & RoHS-certified safety system with safety 6.3 amp fuse to ensure complete protection for you & your devices; built-in safety shutters protect users from direct touch of live parts on socket outlet. Uppel provides 12-month warranty for its products & friendly customer support: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comes in blue, green & white. $15.99 with free shipping on orders over $25. www.amazon.com
AWAY CARRY-ON SMART LUGGAGE This Away Carry-On comes in a regular and larger size. Both come with wall adapter and micro-USB cord for suitcase charging – energy available can charge an iPhone five times & an iPad more than once. Both sizes fit official airline regulations at 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”; including Delta, United, American, and JetBlue. Away suitcase batteries are compliant with current airline policies, FAA, TSA and DOT regulations & meet UN/DOT 38.3 requirements. Bag is allowed in cabin & can be carried onto any flight. Batteries in carry-ons can be easily removed in seconds so bag can be checked at a moment’s notice or to use the battery for on-the-go charging. Electronic components are guaranteed by a 2-year warranty & replacement batteries for future purchase will be improved with technology advancements. Excluding the electronics, Away suitcases are guaranteed by a limited lifetime warranty covering damage to shell, wheels, handles, zippers or anything else that functionally impairs the luggage; they will fix or replace it. Starting at $225, all have a 10,000 mAh battery. www.awaytravel.com AUKEY ORA IPHONE CLIP-ON CAMERA LENS SET AUKEY Ora 2-in-1 lens set iPhone Camera Clip-on for iPhone lens for iPhone 8, 7, 6, Samsung, & other android smart phones is sold by AUKEY direct & fulfilled by Amazon. Macro lens gives 15x magnification for extremely detailed close-ups (position lens 0.4" - 1" from the subject to get clearer pictures). For better performance & fit, try removing any phone case. Wide angle lens opens up field of view for landscape photos or wide format selfies (includes combination of two lenses: screw wide-angle attachment to macro lens for super-clear 120° wide angle lens view); compatible with 52mm lens filter. Each lens is crafted with aluminum alloy & multi-element coated glass to minimize reflections & lens glare. Detachable soft rubber clip is easy to adjust & won’t leave scratches or marks on devices. Package contents: AUKEY PL-WD06 Ora 2-in-1 lens set, lens clip, carrying pouch, cleaning cloth, 45-day money back guarantee and 24-month product replacement warranty card. $29.99 with free shipping on orders over $25. www.amazon.com
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GYM BAG MONEY BELT WITH RFID BLOCKING, CONCEALED TRAVEL WALLET & PASSPORT HOLDER This money belt by Zero Grid is designed for safe international travel; it’s fulfilled by Amazon. Has RFID-blocking sleeves, concealed travel wallet & passport holder that conceal cash, credit cards & passport from pickpockets and identity thieves. Two zippered compartments fit cash, passports, boarding passes, credit cards & all new smartphones. Inner pockets organize valuables; quick-access carabineer clip secures keys & USB drives. Invisible to thieves, it’s made of ultra-lightweight, water-resistant 210D Ripstop nylon; breathable, moisture-wicking back eliminates uncomfortable moisture & heat; soft elastic waistband adjusts to fit both men & women. Comes with 100% lifetime money-back guarantee. $15.33 with free shipping on orders over $25. www.amazon.com
HOOTOO WIRELESS TRAVEL ROUTER This HooToo wireless travel router includes a 10400mAh external battery, USB port & high performance travel charger; you must use latest app: HooToo TripMate Plus (it’s not a Hotspot). Note: cannot be compatible with Xfinity Hot Spot. Built-in 10400mAh power bank (5V/2.1A) lets you charge iPhone or smartphone up to 3 times; travel router lets you instantly convert wired network to wireless to create your own secure Wi-Fi network. Backup photos & videos from iPhone, Android phones, iPad or other mobile devices to save space; new core lets you plug multiple USB hard drives or flash drives with a USB hub to TripMate Titan. Seamlessly stream endless videos, photos & music to connected devices. Sold by Sunvalley Brands & fulfilled by Amazon. $39.99 www.amazon.com
VETELLI HANGING TOILETRY BAG FOR MEN This men's hanging toiletry bag is designed & patented by Vetelli's Italian designers & radiates luxury; made of high grade PU leather that’s easy to clean & water resistant; bag interior combines PU leather with canvas lining & stainless steel zips and buckles to secure belongings. Features 4 internal pockets, 2x zipped pockets measuring 11.2" x 6.7" (28.5cm by 17cm) & 11.2" x 4.5" (28.5cm x 11.5cm) that both expand to easily hold large travel accessories; also features 2x snap-fastened square pockets measuring 5.1" x 4.7" (13cm x 12cm) & can be used as hanging toiletry bag or as flatlying Dopp kit/travel accessories bag. Unfolded dimensions are 20.9" x 12" (53cm x 30.5cm); bag measures 8" x 12" (20.5cm x 30.5cm) when closed. Vetelli mens toiletry bags are backed by 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Sold by LSB Products & fulfilled by Amazon. $44.95 with free shipping. www.amazon.com
TRAVELON MULTI-BAG STACKER Pull up to 4 suitcases comfortably with one hand using this bag stacker. One size & comes in black; attaches & detaches easily; easy to maneuver. $10.25 with free shipping on orders over $25. www.amazon.com
EVENTS: FOR A COMPLETE CALENDAR OF EVENTS PLEASE VISIT WWW.COMPETENETWORK.COM/EVENTS AQUATICS
Hot Rodeo 2018
New York, May 26-27
Palm Springs, May 11-13
Columbus Ohio Midwest Invitational Classic
Texas Shootout Liberty Bell Classic Philadelphia, May 25-27
Fountain Valley, Calif., Apr. 27
Sunshine Invitational Tournament Orlando May 4
Greater Rochester Eastern Area Tournament Rochester, May 4
DANCESPORT April Follies North American Championships Oakland, Calif., Apr. 28
Decatur, May 14-20
Long Beach Pride Doubles 16 Long Beach, May 19-20
Heart of Texas Classic 16 Austin, May 26-28
Austin, May 25-26
Columbus, Apr. 27
Funlovers California Spring Classic
2018 City of Decatur Tournament
North Star Classic
U.S. Gay Open 2018 San Francisco, May 26-28
Jump into the SDLC Goldfish Bowl to TO HELP FUND YOUR EVENT
Minneapolis, May 26-27
NAGAAA CUP Minneapolis, May 26-27
Big Peach Softball Tournament Atlanta, May 26-27
Gotham Softball Classic New York, May 25-28
TENNIS GLTA Grass Court Championships 2018 Rancho Mirage, May 3-6
2018 Spring Fling Ft. Lauderdale, May 5-6
2018 City of Decatur Tournament Decatur, May 14-20
Long Beach Pride Doubles 16 Long Beach, May 19-20
Heart of Texas Classic 16 Austin, May 26-28
U.S. Gay Open 2018 San Francisco, May 26-28
VOLLEYBALL GLTA Grass Court Championships 2018
Are you afraid of sharks? Then jump into the Goldfish Bowl, SDLC’s fun take on television’s “Shark Tank” show, to help you raise money for your event! The Sports Diversity Leadership Council (SDLC) is partnering with Connect Sports to present the Goldfish Bowl at Connect Marketplace being held in Salt Lake City on August 23-25. PREMISE Selected SDLC members and their CVBs will present their tournament/event to a panel of judges. The judges will award sponsorships in various amounts based on the presentations members make inside the Goldfish Bowl. The judges will announce the winners during Connect Marketplace. SELECTION PROCESS SDLC members will submit applications to the SDLC Goldfish Bowl Committee from May 15 through June 5. The committee will select the finalists by June 30. Finalists will then work with their host cities (CVB/Sports Commission) to create a presentation that the finalists and their host cities will present live to judges during the Goldfish Bowl. Winners must be present in Salt Lake City to be awarded a sponsorship.
Sports Club at
Rancho Mirage, May 3-6
2018 Spring Fling Ft. Lauderdale, May 5-6
Your Uptown Fitness Experience! www.sportsclubatcitysquare.com (Indian School Rd and 2nd Ave)
44 COMPETE April 2018 Travel & Tourism Issue