Sweat On

by Jim Provenzano
(Nov. 7, 2002)

Having spent almost a week in wonderful Sydney, if not more, some tourists learned some of the colourful colloquialisms of Australia, known as Oz Slang.

This article's title, "Sweat On," means, "waiting for something to happen." But some slang is Western, or not familiar to city folk. And of course, gay city Aussie folk have a few of their own terms.

Many terms of Oz Slang illustrate the day's events quite nicely.

WELL IN- doing well or liked by somebody
Athletes managed to break records and personal bests all over the city, and even further, but mostly in the Olympic Park's track field. Seniors competing in running events received wild applause, despite their pace. A man who'd lost a leg only months before beat other bipedal competitors.

Inspiration came in all forms, from San Francisco Track and Field's Carmen Morrison completing an important relay despite an injury. She's run the event since Gay Games I, and took home even more medals this time. Reggie Snowden took four, while others racked up to a dozen.

From the 1500 meter to discus victories seen by men and women of all sizes, track, with all its various hurdles and jumps, gave way to several Games athletes leaving the stadium with multiple medals draped around their necks, and the accompanying amusing clanking sound.

"Music to my ears," said one runner from Melbourne.

"Now he needs the earrings," said his partner, who had cheered from the stands.

SPIT THE DUMMY - refers to a baby spitting out its pacifier in anger, and throwing a hissy fit.
The strangest place for such a thing to happen would be on the expansive track of Homebush, where all week, running and field events dotted the Elysian field.

As the sole gay sports media for San Francisco, it was an honor to cover the events, where our team racked up almost 90 medals.

Amid all this joy and glory, however, when a rather portly "Official" nearly sullied an otherwise glorious day, repeatedly threatening athletes, members of the media, and even fans, it inspired me to give him a serve (tell someone off).

Even the writer for another gay sports site, Outsports.com's Cyd Zeigler, whose Los Angeles relay team won multiple gold medals, concurred in his online reports: "For some reason, the people running track and field are angry and rude. Oh well, guess not everyone in Sydney can be cool."

He spruiked (Talked like a circus announcer) with a snakey (irritable) manner. Having clicked a stopwatch at the 2000 Olympics gave him an Olympic ego, the old nong (you don't want to know what that means)

Quipped one javelin thrower, Philadelphia's Rick Van Tassel, whose other accomplishments include being a Federation member, wrestler (and co-founder of Wrestlers Without Borders), "You can't fire a volunteer."

BUNNY - person who is weak at sport
With victory comes honor. But losing sooner in the week leaves more time for other fun.

Oxford Street was packed. Duh. Other establishments of pleasure were as well, I'm told. Sociable types and locals could be found in the less crowded Newtown.

"I nevah wait on queue to get into a bar, honey," snapped Michael, a Greek-descended local who stood smoking with a bevy of fashionable pals on the balcony of Ceasar's.

The two-floor club welcomes an affably mixed crowd of men, women and others. Floor shows were applauded enthusiastically by lesbian softball players, who'd made it to semi-finals.

But with all kinds of affable Aussies to meet, one could avoid hoons(hooligans) passing by Oxford Street, stop in a hotel (bar/tavern), and meet a Joe Blow (average person) on a smoko (smoking or non-smoking break from work), who may have studied at Uni (University).

You could have a dekko (look) at the shops downtown and get some bonzer (cool, great) gifts for friends back home.

Despite the thorough listings (team listings, times, addresses) and almost instantaneously published array of photos and interviews in special editions of the Sydney Star Observer, many gay locals (and crazed circuit freaks) thought little of participation, let alone observation of the many sports surrounding them. This left some accomplished athletes wanting to nick off (move away quickly), and return to conversations with people of their own team/tribe.

AUNTIE - The Australian Broadcasting Commission
Not that finding oil (information, the goods) on Gay Games VI was easy, outside the local gay media. After a few perfunctory write-ups of Opening Ceremonies, the aussie media obsessed about the Melbourne Cup and its attending ladies hats, then cricket, Winona Ryder's klepto trial, and other crucial world events. Granny (The Sydney Morning Herald) wasn't much better.

As visiting Americans chose to ignore the fascist regime slithering into office back home over Election Day, they instead took to beaches in bathers (swim suits) at Bondi (pronounced Bon-Dye, not Bon-Dee), or nuddy (nude) at other beaches.

BOTTLER - good or excellent
Participation did find itself wholeheartedly with some athletes. As Thursday wound down, quarter finals and finals of many sports events narrowed the competition down.

In water polo, West Hollywood Aquatics' WH2O continued its reputation as the kings of the pool, by making the finals. They would later defeat Montreal 13-2 to win gold.

An earlier, but less aggressive victory, embodied the other aspect of the spirit of Gay Games, participation.

Scheduled to compete against each other, which would have led to an assured victory for the A team, WH20's A and B teams mixed their squads and played together. The match ended in a tie, which was grouse (excellent).

Jim Provenzano is an Eye-tie journo grafter in good nick.*
Take a squiz at his oil **HERE.

*a healthy, hardworking Italian American writer.

**Take a look at his other info

Squiz Sydney

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