Dominick Angelo DeAngelis is talking redemption when he thinks about the upcoming Gay Games, set to begin July 31 in Cologne, Germanybecause he thinks back to the 2006 Games in Chicago.
"I played tennis in the Chicago Gay Games and got spankednot in a good wayand am looking to redeem myself in Cologne," said DeAngelis, 32, who now lives in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.
"I am looking to get in shape, have some fun, and play some serious tennis in Cologne. Tennis has always been something that I enjoy and motivates me to get in shape and get my life in order. It has taught me a lot about discipline.
"It is a huge deal for me to compete in the Gay Games. The Gay Games brought me, my friends and family together. I even encouraged a friend to fly in from Houston to compete in the half-marathon in the 2006 Games. My friends and family were there to support me when I had my [ butt ] handed to me in my tennis match."
DeAngelis, who is originally from suburban Crestwood, lived in Los Angeles for four years, working in reality television before moving back to Chicago. He is now a foodservice project specialist for The NPD Group, a marketing-research firm.
DeAngelis lives with his boyfriend, Joseph. Read more story below....
"I wasn't in the greatest place when I moved back from Los Angeles," DeAngelis said. "I lived a crazy life in the entertainment industry and when I moved back to Chicago, I didn't have much going for me. I needed a goal, a reason to be a better me. I found myself hitting tennis balls against the brick wall of my grammar school in Crestwood, wondering how I could do that. I heard the Gay Games were coming to Chicago and decided that is how I would do it. I was going to keep playing tennis and get a job to make sure I could play in the Games and afford all of the proper equipment and attire to play in the Games. It was awesome. When I walked out on the court, I had a job, friends and family supporting me, and I was in the best shape of my life. It didn't even matter if I won or lost that match … I had arrived."
But he wants to medal in Cologne.
Here's more about DeAngelis:
Played tennis for Alan B. Shepard High School, 1991-1995
Earned a marketing degree in 1999 from North Central College in Naperville
Hobbies: Sports and being outdoors. Running, biking, and swimming. "I am also looking forward to competing in the 2010 Chicago Triathlon and the Men's Health Urbanathlon again."
Superstitions: The number 13. Also, "I make a wish every time all of the numbers on a clock are the same number."
Little-known fact, skill or trait: "I can do a little bit of juggling and am a [ very good ] dart player. While living in LA, I was a casting associate for CBS Reality. I worked on many of their reality series, including Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and America's Next Top Model.
Greatest sporting accomplishment: He completed the 2007 Chicago Triathlon Sprint with his two sisters: "We competed together, motivated each other, and finished the race. It was an awesome feeling."
Favorite sports team: "Although a native of the South Side, I am a Cubs fan."
Favorite pro athlete: "This is tough … I always root for the underdog. However, if I have to choose in the ATP, I like Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Roddick, Dmitry Tursunov, Tommy Robredo and Robby Ginepri."