Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.
Mauro Bordovsky, a multi-lingual 49-year-old senior systems analyst from Brazil, may very well have fins. He's participated in every Gay Games as well as founding West Hollywood Aquatics.
Are you on a team? What are your events?
I'm a co-founding member of West Hollywood Aquatics (WH2O).
West Hollywood Aquatics (WH2O) is a Masters swimming and water polo club based in West Hollywood, Calif. The club currently has a roster of over 180 members including gay, lesbian and straight athletes and fitness enthusiasts from Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Silverlake and the San Fernando Valley as well as West Hollywood.
WH2O grew out of a group of swimmers training for Gay Games I in 1982. After returning from the Games, the participants started the West Hollywood Swim Club, which later was changed to incorporate Water Polo and was renamed West Hollywood Aquatics.
WH2O is one of the founding members of International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) and is sanctioned by United States Masters Swimming (USMS) and United States Water Polo (USWP).
Please visit www.wh2o.org for more information. What is your goal for Gay Games Chicago 2006?
I'd like to set a personal best and, hopefully, go for the gold. Breaking another record could be nice, too. I'm also there to support friends and teammates.
If you have attended a previous Gay Games, please explain the experience as an athlete, cultural participant, spectator or volunteer.
As with any first experience, the first Gay (Olympic) Games in 1982 were very special to me. There are many wonderful stories to share about them. Also Gay Games IV (1994) in New York. It was the first Games with a great number of European participants. Gay Games V (1998) in Amsterdam was my first trip to Europe. Gay Games VI (2002) in Sydney, Australia featured phenomenal, world-class facilities. There are too many stories about each of the Games to share here.
We have heard how the Gay Games changes people’s lives. Can you tell us of any transformational experience you had? New friends, a sense of community?
Yes, empowerment, higher self esteem as an athlete and gay athlete, new friends, sense of family and community, unity, support, etc.
How long have you been swimming?
About 32 years.
What role has/does sports/cultural performance play in your life? How much time per week?
A very positive role to help maintain good health and healthy relationships with family and friends I’ve made through the sport and club, etc. In general, I practice from three to four times per week.
What are your greatest swimming achievements?
You mean, I need to put my modesty aside? OK. I have earned many medals, national and international records, U.S. top 10 records.
Interview courtesy of the Gay Games VII organizers. For more information about this year's Gay Games and how you can participate, visit www.chicagogaygames.org.