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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Welcome to the NEW Chunky Muscle News Blog …

Many of you will be aware that the original Chunky Muscle website was an ongoing record of my career in powerlifting and was designed to help people stay up to date with latest news, results and future competitions …

Sadly the original website has become dated and difficult to maintain, so I’ve decided to move this to an archive section and start fresh with an exciting News Blog. You can still view the previous website at www.chunkymuscle.com/archive

The News Blog will be far easier to update and maintain and I look forward to sharing news about my career and writing feature articles for you about news and issues happening in the LGBT Sports Community.

Here’s what has happened since the last update …

Career Update – Highlights 2010 to 2014

2010 – Overall Best Lifter at British Deadlift Championships

2010 – World Deadlift Gold at the World Single Event Championship in Moscow, Russia

2011 – Overall Best Lifter at British Deadlift Championships

2011 –Overall Best Lifter at European Deadlift Championship in Voka, Estonia

2012 – British Deadlift Champion at British Deadlift Championships

2012 – Become IAWA World Record holder in Deadlift (Open and Masters 1)

2012 –World Deadlift Gold at the World Single Event Championships in Autun, France

2012 – European Deadlift Champion at European Single Event Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland

2013 –Overall Best Lifter at British Deadlift Championships

2013 – World Deadlift Gold at the World Single Event Championships in Antwerp, Belguim

2014 – Overall Best Lifter at British Deadlift Championships

2014 – World Deadlift Silver at the World Single Event Championships in Dusseldorf Germany

You can read Chris’s full career history at his Wikipedia Page that was kindly created by the hard working volunteers at LGBT History Month. Chris would like to thank LGBT History Month for creating this resource. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Morgan_(powerlifter)

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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  • CHRIS MORGAN – POWERLIFTER

    Chris has been one of the world’s leading openly gay athletes since starting his Powerlifting career at the Gay Games in 1998.

    He has since gone on to win multiple mainstream British and World titles, breaking multiple British and World records in his sport.

    Chris came out in his sport when there were very few openly gay athletes operating in elite sports worldwide. He quickly realised the importance, significance and the need for an openly gay athlete to be competing in elite sports.

    He was one of the first openly gay athletes in the world to win World Championships medals in his sport and his long history of competing as an openly gay athlete gives him unique perspective and views of LGBT Sports today.

    See Media & Appearances page to see how Chris may be able to assist your organisation.

  • CHRIS MORGAN – CAREER RECORD

    During his fifteen year career he has represented England and Great Britain a total of twenty two times, where he has taken a total of twenty four international medals.

    He has been World Champion seven times, European Champion three times, British National Champion fourteen times and has won six Gay Games gold medals.

    He has been the overall Best Lifter at the British Deadlift Championships four times and has also been the overall Best Lifter at the European Deadlift Championships.

    He is currently the holder of multiple World and British strength records in the Deadlift.

    Chris is constantly working for the organisation that gave him confidence to be an openly gay athlete, as a global ambassador.

    His role for the Federation of Gay Games is to inspire young gay athletes worldwide and help raise awareness of the Gay Games Scholarship Fund.

    You can view Chris's full career record by visiting his Wikipedia page in the index below.

  • WEBSITE INDEX

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