• Photo for World OutGames: Olympic rematch results in record-setting swim
    Photo Credit: Montreal 2006 (OSA)

World OutGames: Olympic rematch results in record-setting swim

By Andrew Delaware

Swimming was the largest sport at the OutGames. More than 800 swimmers participated in the weeklong meet. Thousands of races have been swum, but none more memorable than the rematch of Canadian Olympic gold medalist Mark Tewksbury and San Francisco native and Olympian Daniel Veatch. The result: a world record for Daniel Veatch.

Mark Tewksbury had not been in the pool since his gold medal performance at the Olympics in Seoul, Korea, in 1988. During opening ceremonies, Tewksbury referred to his swim in Seoul, commenting on being a closeted gay athlete.

"Now, I look around this stadium and I know I am not alone," he said to cheers from the crowd.

As co-president of the Montreal OutGames, he decided to join the Montreal A Contre Courrant swim team and prepared to swim his favorite event, the 200-meter backstroke.

Daniel Veatch, who finished 7th in the Seoul Olympics, has swum with the San Francisco Tsunami, a gay aquatics club, for several years. Daniel finished with a time of 2:14.83, dramatically wiping out the previous age group record of 2:15.49 set in 1999 by another American swimmer, William Speicht.

In response to his achievement, Veatch said, “I’m really excited to have broken this record and to find myself in the pool with my good friend and former competitor, Mark Tewksbury.” Veatch also said that he is particularly proud of being in Montreal to support the OutGames. “I really believe in the OutGames movement.”

Given that swimming competitions at the OutGames are sanctioned by the Quebec Swimming Federation, the record set by Veatch is in the process of being registered with FINA (International Amateur Swimming Federation).