An expected 20,000 visitors will give economic boost to the region
CLEVELAND -- Before the openings ceremonies kick off Saturday night at the Q, Channel 3's Wale Aliyu chats with Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup. Skjellerup represented New Zealand at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada in February 2010 coming in 16th in the 1000m.
Skjellerup came out as gay in an interview with Australian magazine DNA, in 2010 and is one of the few world-class male athletes to come out as gay while still competing.
Skjellerup works with many non-profit organizations, including You Can Play and Athlete Ally, working to bring his message of pride through sport and anti-bullying to high schools and colleges throughout the United States.
Even though this is his first time in Cleveland, he says it was important for him to be at the 2014 Gay Games.
Executive Director of the 2014 Gay Games Tom Nobbe dicusses the economic impact of the 20,000 international guests that are expected to visit Cleveland for the sporting competition. They are estimated to bring in $40 million to the region.
Aliyu also spoke with executive director of the Gay Games Tom Nobbe about what to expect for the events and what an extra 20,000 people will do to the local economy.
Nobbe says there will be more than 20,000 participants and visitors including 7,000 athletes. The visitors are expected to bring $40 million into our economy.
The athletes represent more than 50 countries and almost every U.S. state.
WKYC's Wale Aliyu is live in front of the festival village where thousands of athletes and international guests will gather during the 2014 Gay Games.