Australian Michelle Ferris, a multiple world and Olympic medals holder, has been selected by the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) to be the newest Gay Games Ambassador. The eighth edition of the quadrennial Gay Games takes place in Cologne, Germany 31 July to 10 August 2010.
"I relish the opportunity to be a Gay Games Ambassador," said Ferris. "The Gay Games provide a unique opportunity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes and artists from around the world to come together in celebration.
"By highlighting our sporting and cultural achievements under the three Gay Games principles of 'Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best', we have the opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments in a safe and supportive environment," she added.
Ferris' 20-year cycling career peaked with a series of silver medals in the sprint and 500 metre time trials at the Olympic games in 1996 and 2000 and at the UCI World Cycling Championships from 1997-1999. At Sydney's 2000 Olympic Games, after finishing in the runner-up position in the sprint to her perennial rival Felicia Ballanger of France, she said it didn't matter because the most important thing was that she'd set a new personal best.
Gay Games Ambassadors represent a broad range of achievement in sports, the arts, business and government. Ferris joins fellow cyclists Petra Rössner and Judith Arndt as Gay Games Ambassadors. Other high-profile ambassadors include musician Sir Elton John, world power lifting gold medallist Chris Morgan and Olympic beach volleyball player Leigh Ann Naidoo to name a few.
"The selection of Michelle Ferris to be a Gay Games Ambassador is the FGG's way of recognizing her contributions to the international sport and culture community as a world champion, an Olympic medallist and an elite cyclist," said Kate Rowe, Sydney-based FGG board member and Vice President for Diversity. "We feel truly honoured that Michelle Ferris has accepted our invitation to become an Ambassador for the Gay Games".