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Muscle on the Rocks

STORY: Gay Games III in Vancouver (British Columbia) in August 1990 was a transformative experience for me and many others: it was the first time in my life-long athletic career that I observed the marriage of sports and gay life being publicly celebrated and promoted.

Almost 10,000 athletes from 27 sports and participants in related cultural events converged in that beautiful city during the best weather imaginable and competed, bonded, and partied. Once the Games had concluded, many of the athletes remained in the area for another day or two and enjoyed sights they hadn’t had time to take in during the competition.

One that my Gotham Volleyball (NYC league) teammates and I visited was nearby Wreck Beach, a clothing-optional beach on the edge of a vestigial forest just outside Vancouver. The beach wasn’t large; the sand was gray, and an outcropping of loose boulders intruded onto the sunbathing area.

But, the beach attracted a crowd that enjoyed nude sunbathing and others that liked to be around nudity, as well as an unclothed vendor darting among the crowd, selling beverages from a portable cooler.

The outcropping also proved to be the perfect stage for two handsome built divers from Philadelphia who thoughtfully decided to grace those present with a flexing demonstration. Their audience was rapt; meanwhile, I opportunistically snapped this shot mid-pose. I’ve lost touch with them and even their names are unusually no longer in my memory banks, but this moment will remain frozen forever.


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