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"Munich is becoming a place to be for lesbians and gays" 01/08/2004 11:08 am
The women swim away from the men and Munich is becoming a lesbian and gay paradise. What the Eurogames can affect, is shown by the first impressions from the perimeter of the Olympic Swimming Hall, where the swimming competitions of the Eurogames having been taking place.
Israel Benavides is enthusiastic. "The Eurogames are well organised" says the Cuban swimmer happily, who is swimming for the Cologne Janus Swimming Association. Generally, the competition seems to be quite strong. "There are good swimmers here. I hope for a place in the middle field".
The men face competition from the women too. Karin Huerl from MSV Munich swam in the 200m backstroke qualifying round at the same pace away from the men. "Although I'm an "old wreck"', says the 42 year old. Huerl joined a swimming club especially for the Gay Games in Amsterdam in 1998 in her mid-thirties. "Until then, I could only swim breaststroke", says Huerl. "Since, in comparison, it's just 'reversed breaststroke', I swim in the same style."
Both swimmers are happy with the Eurogames. Israel Benavides believes that te Eurogames are good for Munich. "Only yesterday Munich had a bad reputation in the 'scene', since it's the capital of the conservative Bavaria but Munich is an open and tolerant city and the Eurogames are a good advert for the gay- and lesbian-scenes."