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CLEVELAND -- The competition is heating up at the 2014 Gay Games. Whether you are strong enough to power lift, skilled enough to shoot a basketball, or centered enough to bowl the games have a wide array of athletes.

There are 36 sports at the Gay Games. Every city has 28 core sports they have to do but each city also gets eight games of choice and in Cleveland one of the popular ones is darts.

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"I like darts it something I can try to do and you don't have to be great at to participate," said Bob Stabile, a dart competitor from Chicago.

"In addition to ballroom we included this year Argentine, tango and country-western style," said dance sport tournament director Barbara Zoloth.

Dance Sport, she says, has been one of the more historic sports at the Gay Games.

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"Especially for spectators because it's very fun to watch," said Zoloth.

But it doesn't matter what sport these 7,000 athletes are competing in.

"I'm hoping to have fun but if I get a gold medal I will be happy," she said.

For them, it's all about competing in an inclusive environment.

"It's an opportunity to dance," said Zoloth. "We are not allowed in United States, same-sex couples to compete, in what they call mainstream competitions because they define a couple as a man and a woman.

As most of the competitions are wrapping up, Monday, people are getting ready for some night life. At Jacob's Pavilion doors open at 7:00 p.m. for the 2014 Gay Games White Party, headlined by Boy George. Tickets are $50 and the party will go until midnight.

Jacob's Pavilion is expecting a packed house which is a theme for the week with an extra 20,000 people in town. The extra people are expected to bring an extra $40,000 in our economy.

Now that we are on day two of competition, Channel 3 wanted to know if we are meeting our expectations, and organizers say we are exceeding them.

"Folks from the community are coming down to see what's going on. The whole community, the whole region is psyched about this and I keep hearing from the participants that they never experienced a kind of warmth that they are experiencing here," said Tom Nobbe, Gay Games Executive Director.

The organizing committee did admit these games are one of the smallest but that was also expected since Cleveland is the smallest city to ever host them. Still, they expect that now that we are on the world stage, Cleveland and Akron will be on the radar of LGBT travelers around the world.

Follow WKYC's Wale Aliyu on Twitter: @WaleAliyu

August 11, 2014: Gay Games attendance exceeds expectations. WKYC-TV

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