Chris Morgan Inducted to The Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame …

Chris Morgan has been inducted to the Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony that took place on Friday 24th July at the Center on Halsted Street in Chicago, The complete list of 2015 inductees are:

Kye Allums, an activist and the first out transgender Division I basketball player.

Megan Rapinoe, an American pro soccer player, Olympic gold medalist, and 2015 World Cup champion who came out as lesbian.

Roy Simmons, a former pro football player who came out as gay after he retired and who died in 2014.

Helen Hull Jacobs,  a top-ranked tennis player who won 10 Grand Slam titles and was known to be a lesbian. She died in 1997.

Dale Scott, the first out active Major League Baseball umpire

Among the Class of 2015 are several with a strong connection to the international Gay Games movement…

Roger Brigham, the Federation of Gay Games Honorary Life Member who was the first openly gay sports editor at a major metropolitan daily, the Anchorage Daily News, in 1982. He also the founded the Equality Coaching Alliance (now with more than 200 members). He’s also the author of the Bay Area Reporter.‘s “Jock Talk” sports column.

Gene Dermody who is a rare veteran of every one of the Gay Games. He is the pioneer of LGBT wrestling and has served the FGG in many capacities, including President and Technology Officer. He is an FGG Honorary Life Member and in 2014 received the FGG’s highest honor: the Tom Waddell Award.

Robbie Rogers who is a professional soccer / football player who is one of the only male professional athletes active on a team sport while being openly gay. He famously appeared in a video with NBA star Jason Collins shown at the Opening Ceremony of 2014’s Gay Games 9 in Cleveland.

Chris Morgan who is is an eight-time world champion powerlifter who got his start at Gay Games V and who is active in Europe’s campaign against homophobia in soccer. He has served as a loyal and active Gay Games Ambassador for many years.

The Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced the fields of sports and athletics for the LGBT community. A full list of Inductees and bios can be seen at www.gayandlesbiansports.com.

Founded in 2013 and based in Chicago, the Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to recognize both individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced sports and athletics for the LGBT community.

In addition, the Hall of Fame will preserve the history of LGBT individuals who have impacted professional and amateur sports and provide outreach and education to the sporting world so that LGBT youth all across the nation feel welcome and safe to participate in any and all athletic related activities.

Chris Morgan is an eight time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com and www.paris2018.com

 

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Chris Morgan Wins 8th World Championship Title …

Gay Games Ambassador Chris Morgan has become a World Champion in the sport of Powerlifting for the eighth time in his career.

He was lifting in the World Single Event Championships, held in Telford in the United Kingdom and made lifts of 200 kilo’s followed by 230 kilo’s and then 250 kilo’s to clinch the “Masters 1” title at the World Deadlift Championships.

Speaking about the competition, Chris Said,

‘I’m delighted to have won my 8th World Championship Gold Medal here in Telford.’

“The figures lifted were not amongst my best ever, but this was never going to be possible after suffering a serious back injury only 12 weeks ago. It’s been a very difficult training run to this competition and at times I didn’t think I would actually make platform”.

Chris Continued …

‘It’s a wonderful feeling to be a World Champion again! I’m now looking forward to getting back to full training and trying to improve on my Personal Best in the future”.

Chris would like to take the opportunity to highlight the opportunity for everyone to reach for their own “Personal Best” at the 10th edition of The  Gay Games that we be held in Paris in August 2018.

The Gay Games are open to all and are not reserved solely for the LGBT community. Everyone – regardless of his or her sexual orientation, origin, or age – is invited to participate in this great international sporting and cultural event celebrating diversity. No performance standards are required to sign up.

That’s the spirit of the Gay Games!

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com and www.paris2018.com

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“Endurance Invitational” – Bench Press & Deadlift for Repetitions

Chris Morgan is very proud to announce that he will be hosting the UK’s 1st Annual “Endurance Invitational” Bench Press and Deadlift – This is a Charity Competition in support of The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The event is being held at Steves Gym, Newton Abbott, Devon, United Kingdom on the 22nd August 2015 with categories for Junior’s, Senior’s and Master’s.

There will also be a three person team event, where teams can be all make, all female or mixed male and female.

You can find out more about the competition here at the Facebook Event page …

https://www.facebook.com/events/773775126070693/

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National Diversity Awards – LGBT Role Model Nomination

Chris Morgan is delighted to be nominated for the “LGBT Role Model Award” at the forthcoming National Diversity Awards. The Awards Ceremony will take place at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday the 18th September 2015.

You can vote for Chris in the awards here …

https://nominate.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/Nominate/Endorse/25742?name=chris%20morgan

and you can visit the National Diversity Awards website here …

www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com and www.paris2018.com

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British & World Championships 2015 …

2015 season is certainly going to be a very special year …

All of Chris’s competitions for the 2015 Season are being held in England …

Saturday 28th February 2015 – British Single Event Championships at Beaconside Sports Centre, Stafford, England (Overall British Deadlift Champion for the 5th time in 6 years!)  

Sunday 12th, 13th & 14th June 2015 – World Single Event Championships at Telford Innovation Campus, Telford, England

The World Deadlift Championship will be held 14th June 2015. More details can be found at www.bdfpa.co.uk

South West Divisional Championship dates 2015 to follow soon.

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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Sports & Equality Column – Michael Sam Proves Coming Out Gay In Sport Can Hurt Your Career …

Chris Morgan’s latest Sports & Equality Column is now live on Gay Star News …

Here’s some extracts from the article …

“In my previous GSN column I asked if the NFL were being homophobic in its treatment towards Michael Sam”? …

“This was directly after he had been cut from the St Louis Rams and was just about to be been picked up by the Dallas Cowboys to be part of their practice squad.  At the time it was quite apparent that this was not a good position for Michael to find himself in, so for him now to have been cut from his second team in only a matter of weeks it leaves some serious questions to be answered”?

“To say this is damaging for his career is an understatement, as being dropped twice could be taken by other NFL franchises as a reflection of his inability to secure himself a place. But hold on one minute here? This is a player that was one the most talented defensive linesman of his year in college football and only a few months ago was knocking down opponents as if they didn’t deserve to be on the same pitch”.

“I can’t help wondering if this is the NFL’s way of saying after that famous “Gay Kiss” on NFL Draft day with his boyfriend that Michael Sam doesn’t deserve to be on the same pitch”? …

Read the Gay Star News version of the article here http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/michael-sam-proves-coming-out-gay-sport-can-still-hurt-your-career051114

Or view the Sports & Equality column here http://www.chunkymuscle.com/?page_id=332

To see Michael Sam in action visit  you can his website www.michaelsam.com

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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LGBT UK Sports Timeline – British Gay Sports History

The LGBT UK Sports Timeline documenting British Gay Sports History has now been updated for both 2013 and 2014 …

Chris first published the timeline in 2012 at the time of the London Olympic Games as a way of documenting British LGBT Sports History for future generations.

The updated version now has new entries for Tom Daley, Nicola Adams, Robbie Rogers, Casey Stoney, Joanie Evans along with all the football, rugby union, rugby league and trans sports club formations over the last two years.

You can find an edited and extended version of the timeline here  …

http://www.chunkymuscle.com/?page_id=242

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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Sports & Equality Column … Is the NFL Being Homophobic In It’s Treatment of Michael Sam? …

So, this is the week that Michael Sam was meant to begin his NFL Regular Season career with the St. Louis Rams, only to be dropped by them at the very last minute. Was it the first NFL gay kiss? The constant media attention? or simply did they think that last year’s SEC Defensive Linesman of the year was not up to the task of making the grade in the NFL? – We will never know that answer to these questions …

In his latest comment column Chris Morgan draws on his own experiences as an openly gay elite athlete and gives a unique insight into the challenges that confront Michael Sam as he faces the prospect of St, Louis Rams first regular season NFL game on 7th September – Starting without him!

Here’s some quoted extracts from the article ...

“Early predictions were for Michael Sam to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round of the NFL Draft during the close season. As time wore on Michael would have become more nervous about whether he would be drafted at all and who he would end up playing for. As history now states he was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft” …

So, imagine the shock and horror this week after taking the huge step of signing the first gay player in NFL History, the Rams have suddenly decided to cut him from their regular season roster. Early opinion has suggested that the NFL was not ready for the press attention that he was bringing, whilst others have questioned his ability”…

“As an openly gay elite athlete I have faced many setbacks in my own career both within my sport and in regards to sponsorship. I’m certain that this setback will strengthen Michaels resolve to succeed should another NFL franchise come in for him, to offer him the chance that he deserves”

Read the Gay Star News version of the article here http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/nfl-being-homophobic-its-treatment-michael-sam030914

Or view the Sports & Equality column here www.chunkymuscle.com/?page_id=152

To see Michael Sam in action visit  you can his website www.michaelsam.com

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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Strong Enough To Survive … A Tribute To Justin Fashanu

Chris has written many articles and contributed to many press interviews and features during his career. Strong Enough To Survive is one of Chris’s favourite recent articles, because the Justin Fashanu story was one of his earliest inspirations and motivations to his sports career.

Many people may think that the title of the article Strong Enough To Survive was some kind of reference to Chris’s career, however, this could not be further from the truth. Chris selected a far deeper and underlying emotional meaning to the title for his tribute to Justin.

People may not be aware but “Strong Enough To Survive” was the title of an essay that Justin Fashanu wrote for Angela Mason’s book Stonewall 25 – The Making of the Gay Community in Britain (1994). His essay gave a unique insight into the pain and torment that he suffered at the hands of the tabloid press throughout his football career.

Here’s Chris’s tribute that he wrote for the Football v Homophobia Campaign …

Strong Enough To Survive … A Tribute To Justin Fashanu

By Chris Morgan

I remember seeing the newspapers during the week after Justin’s death and feeling sick to stomach. There were graphic accounts of his last movements and interviews with people who had met him, or spent time with him in his final hours.

The press hounded him throughout his career, drove him to suicide and then afterwards printed some of the cruellest, nastiest stories ever published in the UK newspapers. As an athlete myself I felt angry that Justin was never allowed to meet his true potential on the pitch.

At the time all this happened I was just coming to terms with my own sexuality and was taking my first steps towards a career in sport. I realised that I was faced with a choice of whether or not to be open about my sexuality in the brutal and testosterone driven sport of Powerlifting.

Being out as a gay man in my previous sport of rugby union was impossible at the time. However, I knew in an individual sport like Powerlifting there was an opportunity to be openly gay and what had happened to Justin motivated me and filled me with strength.

For the next four years Justin’s story stayed with me as I strived to win my first title in Powerlifting, as it filled me with indescribable anger and rage.  At the Gay Games in Sydney 2002, I won that first Gold Medal and immediately dedicated it to Justin’s memory.

I’ve gone on to win many titles and medals during my career and all this time Justin’s story has always been with me in the background. The fact that similar acts of bigotry are still happening today, means that Justin’s story is still as relevant now as it was in 1998.

I’d like to thank everyone at ‘The Justin Campaign’ for keeping his memory alive.

Click Here To Read The Original Article Published In February 2012 …

http://justincampaign.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/strong-enough-to-survive-tribute-to.html

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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Questions & Answers: Fact File with Chris Morgan

Chris recently agreed to a Q&A Interview with Journalist Fran Stephan. She has kindly permitted for some of the results from that interview to be published on Chris’s new blog …

Q) Can you tell me a bit about your earlier life? …

A) Chris started his sporting career aged 16, playing Rugby Union for Leicester Tigers.  After playing for the tigers for five years, an unfortunate injury meant he could no longer pursue his rugby career. At this time in his life Chris had been dating women but said that “the gay thing was still there” and he knew that something had to change in his life.

Q) When did you realise you were gay?

A) He knew he was gay from an early age but kept thinking maybe it would go away or things would change. He said: “I couldn’t have been openly gay in that team sports environment. 20 years ago when I played rugby I don’t think the world was ready for an openly gay rugby player.”

Q) How did you get into Powerlifting?

A) It was by chance that in 1998 he met his first coach, Jim Atkinson at Soho Athletic Club, London. Jim challenged him to put his strength to good use in the sport of powerlifting, which was when he decided to come out at the age of 23. He said it wasn’t really difficult publically coming out, his family already had their suspicions, it was just a question of confirming it really.

Q) Where did you start?

A) His first ever competition was at the Gay Games in 1998 where he described himself as “coming out like a raging bull”. He has always been grateful to the Gay Games for what he describes as his “second chance” to participate in sports as an openly gay man.

Q) How many titles do you hold?

A) Chris was one of the first openly gay male athletes to win mainstream world medals in his sport. He has since been World Champion seven times, European Champion three times, British National Champion fourteen times and has won six gold medals at the Gay Games. He is also a multiple British and World record holder in his sport.

Q) What has been the highlight of your career so far?

A) He mentioned that each one of his world titles was special, but one of the highlights of his career was winning the World Deadlift Championship 2010 at the Russian Olympic Weightlifting Centre in Moscow. Due to Russia’s anti-gay legislation and propaganda Chris felt he had a point to prove and said “I just knew I had to win in Moscow!”

Q) What would be your biggest tip for anyone wanting to go into powerlifting?

A)  “Stop saying you’re going to do it and actually do it!” Plenty of people say they want to compete but never do it, he suggests just getting up on the platform, giving it a go and no matter how it goes just build from there. Find some experienced powerlifters or a local powerlifting club and don’t be frightened to ask them for help.

Q) How difficult is it to be openly gay in a sporting environment?

A) Chris confesses he thinks it is still quite difficult to be gay in a sporting environment and described it as still taboo in some places, but is pleased that times are changing and a lot more people are coming out, sighting examples Matthew Mitcham, Michael  Sam ,Tom Daley and Ian Thorpe.

Q) Can you tell me more about your role as an Ambassador for the Gay Games?

A) He has been a Global Ambassador to the Federation of Gay Games since 2004, as this is the organisation that gave him the confidence and motivation to be an openly gay athlete. His role is to inspire young athletes worldwide to be open and proud about their sexuality. Chris highlights that the tenth edition of the Gay Games will next be held in Paris, France in August 2018.

Q) What charities and causes do you currently work with?

A) Chris does lots of work for charities, particularly those related to homophobia. He is currently a patron of the Pink Triangle Theatre Group who performs their show in schools and colleges with powerful messages to help tackle issues such as homophobia, bigotry, hatred and intolerance.

He has also championed the important work being done by the following organisations and good causes. LGBT History Month, Pride Sports, The Justin Campaign, The Matthew Shepard Foundation and The Charter Against Homophobia and Transphobia in Sports.

Chris Morgan is a seven time World Champion in Powerlifting and a Global Ambassador for the Federation of Gay Games. The next Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris in 2018. For more information about the Gay Games visit www.gaygames.com  and www.paris2018.com

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