San Francisco’s Rainbow Koi Team- a wide ranging team consisting of many colors, encompasses of homosexuals, transgender and the straight alike. As it appears, the team is as unique as its name, harbouring still the same strong bond of a dragon boating team. The team was put together with Gay Asian Pacific Alliance along with the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community last 2004. Michael Ellis was its first coach, along with Jean Danao as its first captain.
Rainbow Koi became San Francisco’s Rainbow Koi dragon boat team last 2004 when they were discovered by a 10 year veteran coach Jeniffer Eng at their novice race at Lake Merced, San Francisco. On its second season, the team became a part of the Recreational Division. With it’s motto: “Fierce and Fabulous!” the team was able to bring home a silver medal in 2006 at the first out games in Montreal, Canada. They later snatched a gold medal at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival in the Rec C Division.
On its 4th season as a dragon boat team, the team’s goal this year: ‘to have fun’ later evolved into ‘to win’. Of course, now that they have paddled hard and got the gold, the team is reportedly saying that they would still aim for gold all the way.
The team’s mission is also almost close with its motto. With the goal to liven up and increase the involvement of LGBT athletes in this fast-growing sport: dragon boating. This only proves that the team’s fighting spirit could not get dampened by anything. Apart from having fun, the team is letting their ‘fellow brothers and sisters’ have the opportunity to be their selves once in a while without gaining the occasional ‘raised eyebrows’ from other people.
As the team glides in the waters of Bay Area, San Francisco Rainbow Koi is looking forward on a much stronger team while being fierce and fabulous all the way with recruiting more members.