This damn pandemic #damndemic really messed with our workout routine. We miss the gym in all of its gay glory. The sauna, the cardio, the sauna, the weights, the sauna… did we mention that sauna? Please excuse our obsession, but we’re always curious to know what’s going on “down under” those towels.
Speaking of which, Australia handled Covid-19 better than many nations, averaging only a dozen new cases per day last month.
Due to their diligence, the Land of Oz was able to reopen the Emerald City, aka Sydney, in a robust manner. Salons, theaters and, most importantly, fitness centers embraced safety protocols to usher in 2021 with a sweaty grunt, and no establishment was more pumped than City Gym.
This queer fortress spent the majority of 2020 regrouping and renovating. With a price tag of 1.5 million dollars, City Gym’s macho makeover includes a wellness studio, boxing space, and upscale eatery.
The legacy of City Gym dovetails with the inception of Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras celebration. Back in 1978, Bill Moore co-founded the hotspot as an “all-inclusive social space.” Over the ensuing decades, City Gym welcomed such chiseled luminaries as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jane Fonda, and Christopher “The Blue Lagoon” Atkins.
At the dawn of the 21st century, however, tradition yielded to trendiness. Fitness fans flocked to newer, shinier athletic centers. According to City Gym’s own website:
“These years witnessed a mass exodus of long-term members, including our extended LGBTQI family, our staunch Group Fitness posse, our world-renowned bodybuilding crew and our loyal casual guests. Even some of our much-loved long-term staff members were calling it a day.”
But when Billy Kokkinis took over the man-tastic management of City Gym in 2017, he summoned its homo history. “Billy felt bound by his loyalty and he felt he owned the responsibility of preserving the institution that truly meant everything to him. Together with his business partner Andy Mamasioulas, Billy’s vision has been turned into reality. With the major refurbishment complete, the exclusive City Gym product is second to none. We welcome you to be a part of our City Gym family.”
In the spirit of family togetherness, let’s reminisce about the camaraderie of queer bonding with a vigorous stroll down memory lane, shall we? Here’s a beefy “before” look at the pre-renovation foundations of City Gym – we can’t wait to bask in its “after” glow.
Photo: Facebook @citygymsydney
Last modified: February 20, 2021