Gay Games Paris 2018 – The End of an Amazing Week
JK has been sending us reports from the Gay Games. He is traveling with the Dutch water polo team Amsterdam Waterproof and has been following the progress of both the competitive and recreational teams. JK has an eye for man-candy and has been supplying us with a few choice pics to support his commentary. When not piously studying team Waterproof, he is living and breathing the French joie de vivre in the midst of an unprecedented Parisian heatwave. Here’s his report on the final days of the tournament. Voila!
Day 6 – Games and Play
Waterproof’s recreational team was knocked out of the tournament on day 5. This meant they could truly devote themselves to supporting their brothers and sisters on the competitive team. The first game of the day was against the Washington Wet Skins and was indeed the stuff legends are made of. Dreams came true, and memories were made that will stay with Waterproof for a lifetime.
During the warm up, the nerves and tense nature of the previous days had ebbed somewhat, and while Guus was a little quiet, he and his teammates were expecting a win in the first game. Wouter, one of the guys to score the most points, was confident of beating the Wet Skins but worried the number of games already played could go against them in their second game. Ruud, one of the team goalies, took a moment to answer some questions about recovery after deflecting the ball with his body.
A Word with Goalie Ruud
How do you recover from being hit by the ball?
“Just recover like any human being.”
Do you enjoy being hit?
“Nooooo. But it’s all in the game.”
What’s it like to be a goalie?
“Really hard work, because you always need to pay attention to what’s happening in the field and you cannot be changed [out] so it’s really hard work.”
Waterproof V Washington Wet Skins
This was a fantastic game. Two teams of roughly the same level meeting in the water, both tired and exhilarated from the previous days of gameplay; both hoping to win and carry on to the next level.
The game went blow-for-blow, point-for-point, from beginning to end. Waterproof scored a goal, then Wet Skins did. We took the lead, then we were behind by one point. It was nail-biting, and when we were leading, we felt like champions. When we were behind, we felt scared and anxious. As the final whistle is blown at the end of the 4th quarter, the score comes in at Washington 9 – Amsterdam 9; it’s a tie!
What happens in a tie at a water polo game? The same as football, it goes to penalty shots, best of five. Washington scores 3 out of 5. Amsterdam scores 3 out of 5. This is incredible! Each goal sends the crowd into euphoric eruptions of love and support, each miss buckles us into despair. The score is now tied at 12-12. We go to sudden death penalties. The same order as before, five men line up at the side of the pool and wait to shoot. Both teams miss the first attempt. Dennis from Waterproof scores bringing us to 13-12. Washington needs to score this next goal or it’s all over.
Their teammate swims into position. His arm is raised, he shoots – he misses – the crowd goes wild. Amsterdam Waterproof have won at 13-12 in sudden death. Dennis is the man who scored the winning point, and the entire team is ecstatic. Hugs, kisses, applause – and then both teams congratulate each other, as is post-game tradition.
Waterproof Vs Triggerfish
The points are tallied up, and the next game is Waterproof v Triggerfish. They already defeated us 5-4 at the start of the tournament, so we have high hopes of seeking vengeance and reversing that score.
Triggerfish warm up on the side of the pool, and it is mesmerizing. Waterproof gets pumped and have a final pep talk with Renia. This is it. This game will decide who goes on to play on Friday, and who is going home.
This is the quarter-finals. To get here in this huge tournament is an achievement in and of itself, I’ll spare you a long description. Sadly our Dutch heroes suffered a defeat to their opponents from Toronto. The final score was Triggerfish 8 – Waterproof 3. This means we are out of the tournament.
Life After The Games
Amsterdam Waterproof played the highest level of water polo the team has achieved to date. They learned valuable lessons about stamina, teamwork and how to balance the gameplay with rest time. They might be out of this competition, but they had the time of their lives and played really great water polo. The team is already talking about Hong Kong 2022 and some European events in the interim. Wouter from the competitive team turned 30 on August 10th, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than with your team and friends in Paris. His husband and his best friend have been here to support him in the competition and to ring in his 30th. Gefeliciteerd Wouter and many thanks to Waterproof for letting me join you on this special week in Paris.
Last Dance in Paris
After such an incredible week of sports, art and culture in the French Capital, we really didn’t know how to say good-bye or how to end it with a sense of love and achievement. Yes, it’s sad that the tenth gay games has come to a close, but it is wonderful that thousands of rainbow people competed in the heart of Europe and it was a success. We decided to let the water polo guys from all over the world have the last word and say farewell through the medium of dance – Swish Swish Fish!
Meet the Players
As part of our collaboration with Waterproof, we’ve brought you hot pics and inside info about some of the players on their way to Paris 2018. Each week in the run up to the Gay Games we revealed a new Waterproofer. You can check out all the players beginning with the first one we highlighted, Sexy Thomas!
ROMEO roving reporter Joe Kearney (JK) is on the scene at the Opening Ceremony of Gay Games Paris 2018.
Let The Games Begin! Our rainbow reporter JK dives in deep, with a play-by-play of the matches between Waterproof, Miami Vice, Toronto Triggerfish, Team New York Aquatics, and Sydney Stingers.
If you have a favorite sport or team you’d like us to feature, let us know by sending your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.