Laura Moore, Team New York[Laura Moore is writing in response to a campaign asking the ISU, less than a week before the start of competition, to sanction the Gay Games '98 figure skating events.]
We skaters appreciate what you are trying to do but you do not have accurate information and are making it much more difficult for us. Please understand that it is not the ISU's fault. Amsterdam lied to us. They represented the competition as an official ISU competition without ever having received permission. It was inappropriate for them ever to apply for a sanction because a Gay Games competition cannot fit into the structure of the ISU.
In the '94 Games skaters were covered by waivers from the United States Figure Skating Association and the Canadian Figure Skating Association. We did not seek a sanction because we did not want to play by ISU rules which define a pair team as consisting of "a man and a lady" and mandates that "men must wear trousers" and "women must wear skirts". This is not in keeping with the Gay Games philosophy.
As co-chair of figure skating in '94, I made every effort to communicate with the figure skating coordinators in Amsterdam. Not only were they totally disinterested in looking at any of our records from '94, they expressed complete disdain for the type of competition that we had. They assured me that they were not interested in having a competition for anyone other that elite skaters. They described the '94 figure skating events as "awful"! Gay Games athletes represent a wide age and ability range. The audience in '94 was thrilled by every one of the skaters, because we were out, doing our personal best. Even some of the "lowest" level skaters brought tears to people's eyes and received standing ovations.
As things stand in Amsterdam, the only skaters who would not be blackballed for life are professionals. It is unacceptable that a Gay Games event be held that is for professional skaters only.
We are very grateful for the support of athletes from other sports and trust that you will be behind us no matter how this situation plays out. We may arrive in Amsterdam not knowing if we will be able to skate. Our beautiful new skating costumes may only be worn for press conferences.
We cannot make decision about what to do until we have more information and know the whole story. Please understand this. Thank you for your support.