Gay Games Powerlifting – Past, Present, Future

Gay Games Powerlifting – Past, Present, Future 

Past …

Powerlifting has been part of the Gay Games since the first event was held in San Francisco in 1982 and has since taken place in every Gay Games right through to the one that was last held in Cleveland in 2014.

Traditionally the competition takes place on the opening morning of the games, which usually falls on a Sunday. There is very little known about the first three Powerlifting competitions, however these are some of the statistics since the Gay Games held in New York in 1994.

If anyone has information about 1982, 1986 and 1990 please let me know.

New York 1994 – Sanctioned by Unkown

Events: Powerlifting

Total Participants             32 (3 from outside of the USA 9%)

Female Participants         15 (47%)

Male Participants              17 (53%)

Amsterdam 1998 – Sanctioned By International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)

Events: Equipped Powerlifting, Equipped Bench Press

Total Participants             33 (9 from outside of the USA 27%)

Female Participants         17 (52%)

Male Participants             16 (48%)

Sydney 2002 – Sanctioned By International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)

Events: Equipped Powerlifting, Equipped Bench Press

Total Participants             31 (13 from outside of the USA 41%)

Female Participants         14 (45%)

Male Participants              17 (55%)

Chicago 2006 – Sanctioned By International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)

Events: Equipped Powerlifting, Some participants Deadlift only due to injury

Total Participants             40 (5 from outside of the USA 13%)

Female Participants         15 (37%)

Male Participants              25 (63%)

Cologne 2010 – Unsanctioned with support of International Powerlifting Federation (IPF)

Events: Equipped Powerlifting, Some participants Deadlift only due to injury

Total Participants             24 (12 from outside of the USA 50%)

Female Participants         6 (25%)

Male Participants             18 (75%)

Cleveland 2014 – Sanctioned by United States Powerlifting Association

Events: Equipped Powerlifting, Unequipped Powerlifting, Individual Single Lifts (Squat, Bench & Deadlift), Push & Pull Competition all Equipped and Unequipped.

Total Participants             49 (2 from outside of the USA 4%)

Female Participants         18 (25%)

Male Participants              31 (75%)

Notes to Statistics

It should be noted that the Sydney 2002 Gay Games were held in the shadow of 9/11, which affected the general participation levels due to travel concerns. The Gay Games in Cologne 2010 took place during very difficult global economic conditions, which also affected general participation levels.

Several times ahead of the Cologne 2010 it was suggested that we offer both Equipped and Unequipped versions of our sport, along with Single lift competitions in the individual Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift disciplines to increase participation – but the IPF would not agree to this.

Great credit should be given to John Skelton for stepping in at late notice and helping Cleveland 2014 to deliver a Powerlifting event. The participation levels in Cleveland would suggest that we should offer a full range of events in future Gay Games to maximise participation.

Present …

Gay Games Ambassador Chris Morgan and a group of LGBT Powerlifters from around the world have recently been talking to the Federation of Gay Games, about holding an affiliate Powerlifting event during the Gay Games in Paris 2018.

Sadly, we have now received a final response from Paris 2018 and they are unwilling to support an LGBT Powerlifting competition during the Gay Games in Paris. This of course makes proceeding with an independent event in Paris, extremely difficult!

The working group still have an ongoing dialogue with the Federation of Gay Games and they are encouraging them to take action now to ensure we are able to participate in Gay Games 2022.

We are therefore looking at alternative ways of bringing LGBT Powerlifters together in 2017 and 2018 …..

Future … 

LONDON 2017 & LONDON 2018

In direct response to this news Gay Powerlifters Chris Morgan and Dominic Patmore have decided to invite all LGBT Powerlifters to London in Summer 2017 and Summer 2018 for International LGBT Championships.

Our aim is to bring together all LGBT Powerlifters for friendly competition, congress sessions and social events, so we can shape the future of LGBT Powerlifting. You can see more about the proposed events and activities in the survey below.

We are asking if you would like to participate in an International LGBT Powerlifting Championships that would be arranged close to either London Pride or Brighton Pride in 2017 and arranged close to Gay Games Paris in 2018?

We are proposing to offer all different Powerlifting disciplines, including full Powerlifting, single lifts, Equipped, Unequipped lifters and also a team point’s competition. (The Ryder Cup of LGBT Powerlifting –  an example USA v EUROPE v WORLD).

There are over 50 National and International Powerlifting Federations across the world, so we are proposing that these events be Non Sanctioned (Closed) events, without an official sanction from ANY Powerlifting Federation.

This will mean that we can all lift together, including HIV Positive and Trans athletes who will be able to compete without fear of sanctions due to medications and HRT.


1)      PLEASE COMPLETE THIS SURVEY TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT Be sure to complete the contact details, so we can keep you informed as we have further news.


3)      IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS you are welcome to email Chris Morgan

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 and