By Ross Forman
Originally published on Advocate.com July 28 2009 12:00 AM ET
Dave Steeves made his World Outgames debut Sunday in the first day of competition of the eight-day LGBT sporting gala.
Steeves, 39, of North Olmsted, Ohio, played beach volleyball on a makeshift four-person team of three Americans and one from Belgium. He's also playing softball here -- just as he does in Cleveland's LGBT softball league -- on the London Raiders, another mix of players from around the world.
"The volleyball was great; I've had a great time here already," Steeves said. "I enjoy traveling, meeting people from all over the world. Even though I'm not in a competitive division [of my sports], I'm a competitive person and I like to play sports. I like to do my best.
"This was one of the most drama-free volleyball experiences I have ever had; everyone was really laid-back."
Advocate.com:What is the best part of beach volleyball?Dave Steeves: Being able to dive for balls. I mostly play indoor volleyball, and there you really have to worry about what happens to you when you hit the ground. On the beach you can go all out [on a dive].
Does beach volleyball also deliver the best scenery?Yes, it does. I have come to really enjoy the nation of Brazil.
What's more difficult, diving for a ball on the beach or trying to snag a line drive as a softball pitcher?Well, I don't get bruised as much in beach volleyball; I'm still wearing a bruise from two weeks ago in softball. I'm lucky -- I've never been injured playing volleyball, yet have had a couple of injuries from softball.
Worst injury?Sprained finger, which is never good when you're a sign-language interpreter.
Read our Outgames interviews with The Volleyballer and The Runner .