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Monday 08 November 2010

Cologne Calling: Ron Judd

Posted in: Hall of Fame
By Jacqui Stanford - 29th July 2010

Around 50 New Zealand athletes and performers will represent our community at Gay Games Cologne, which open on 31 July.

The Kiwi team will be led by a strong contingent of swimmers, but it also includes track and field athletes, hockey, tennis and billiards players, figure skaters, cyclists, bodybuilders and even singers. is bringing you a series of profiles on our athletes, who are heading to Cologne to wave the Kiwi rainbow flag.


Ron Judd
Athlete: Ron Judd
Event: Swimming

He already has a haul of medals to his name and the founder of Team Auckland Master Swimmers Ron Judd will be looking to add to that count in Cologne.

The fly specialist started the gay Auckland swimming team in 1992, after having to train with a straight team before competing in the Gay Games in Vancouver in 1990.

"It just didn't work for me. Straight masters is full of families, kids, you know, it's a hard one to relate to. So when I came back from Vancouver I thought 'I need to do something for myself I need a team for me to swim in'."

Judd says there was obviously an 'itch' for a gay swimming team in the city, pointing out the club has had up 60 members at a time.

He agrees that aside from keeping fit, being part of a sports team is a great way to meet other gay people without going to a bar. He says it's another reason he started the club. "I needed to normalise my life really. Just going to bars, just wasn't really for me. So it has given the social life a bit of direction as well."

Judd says he has found the majority of his friends through the team, whether they are still members or not.

The determined but modest swimmer will compete in Cologne with many fond memories of past tournaments. He cites walking into the Gay Games in Vancouver as an affirming moment for in his life. "To walk into the opening ceremony and have something like 60,000 people cheering you on. And the whole immersion into a gay scene for a whole week was just great. That first experience was very memorable.

Aside from enjoying the social aspects of the event, Judd is clearly ready to unleash his competitiveness in the pool. "I hope to come back with some medals really. As many as I can."

Judd says winning medals makes all the hard work worthwhile, as masters swimming is about 'stickability'.

"Sticking at it – the longer you stick at the more likely you are to get medals actually. People who don't have stickability tend to drop off because they don't exercise. But if you keep going, over the years, you can outstrip your competitors."

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Jacqui Stanford - 29th July 2010