History of Team Colorado
Team Colorado of the Rockies is a 501(c)(3) organization with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office aiming to support the local LGBTQ athletic community.
Team Colorado was originally started in 1982 under the name of “Colorado Athletic Exchange”. The CAE helped Artists and Athletes from Colorado to participate in the very first Gay Games in San Francisco in 1982 and the 2nd Gay Games in 1986 also. The CAE became Team Colorado for the 1990 Gay Games III which were held in Vancouver, BC.
Team Colorado became incorporated in 1994 under the name Team Colorado of the Rockies, Inc which continues to be our legal entity as registered with the State of Colorado and in the same year sent over 200 participants to Gay Games IV / Stonewall 25 in New York City. We joined the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) in 1995 and hosted the Federation’s International Annual Meeting in Denver in 1997. Team Colorado USA sent over 100 artists and athletes to Amsterdam, the Netherlands to the Gay Games V. The Gay Games VI was held “Under New Skies” in Sydney, Australia and over 150 folks from Colorado participated.
In 2006, when the FGG and GLISA sponsored separate sporting events, Team Colorado sent over 100 athletes to the Chicago Gay Games VII and over 100 athletes and artisans to the very first International OutGames and Human Rights conference in Montreal, Canada. The Opening Ceremonies were held at the Olympic Stadium, which also hosted the 1976 Olympics. The OutGames Opening and Closing Ceremonies were carried live on Canadian national television and over 45,000 spectators cheered on over 7,000 athletes from over 120 countries as they marched in.
After a brief hiatus, work began to revitalize Team Colorado and assist athletes and allies to participate in the 2009 2nd International OutGames in Copenhagen, Denmark. On the closing Saturday night, Team Colorado athletes joined in as over 400,000 LGBTQ people and allies celebrated EuroPride which was also scheduled in Copenhagen during the OutGames.
2010 saw Team Colorado sponsor the first ever SportsFest in conjunction with the LGBT Center of Colorado. Over 300 athletes came from 3 different states and participated in 8 sports over a weekend in June. The program was very successful. One month later, Team Colorado sent over 80 athletes and allies to the Gay Games VIII in Cologne, Germany and rejoined the Federation of Gay Games as a full membership organization.
Colorado was well represented once again in 2014’s Gay Games IX held jointly in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, with more than 50 athletes competing in many disciplines.
75 athletes from across Colorado traveled to Paris, France for the Paris 2018 Gay Games. Team Colorado gave out scholarships to assist locals in need with the costs of the trip. Despite a record-breaking Parisian heatwave, Coloradans ran hard, swam fast, and competed in 14 of the 36 athletic disciplines, and returned home with 53 medals (including 30 gold). Members of Team Colorado marched in unified under the Colorado flag, explored the gardens in Giverny, and traveled to the sports venues to cheer each other on. More important than the medals stuffed into our bags on the flight home were our memories of community and of personal achievement, and the fire of the Gay Games burns in the heart of each participant.
Since 2015, Team Colorado has been exploring new ways to support Colorado’s LGBTQ and allied athletic community, recommitting ourselves to supporting the many teams and athletes around the state. Even as the state and country continues to move toward greater recognition of LGBTQ people and the wider sporting community becomes more inclusive of LGBTQ people, Team Colorado continues to be a strong voice of support for the rights of LGBTQ athletes throughout the state and fosters a network for teams to come together and support each other, working towards a more inclusive future.
Team Colorado is now preparing for the next edition of the Gay Games in 2022 in Hong Kong. We are currently working hard to raise funds for our scholarship program to help increase participation at the Games.