March 10, 2024

A participant story to inspire us all!

Press Release
A participant story to inspire us all!

In an exclusive interview, we sit down with Sergio Guzzardi, a renowned chef, author, and marathon runner, as he shares his journey from the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants to the exhilarating world of competitive running, all while navigating the complexities of relationships and identity within the LGBTQ+ community.

Us: Sergio, thank you for joining us. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background and how you found yourself in the culinary world?

Sergio: Of course. I was born in Rome, Italy, in June 1966, and my passion for cooking ignited at a young age. I began my culinary career at 16, traveling the globe and honing my skills in some of the world's top restaurants. It was in London where I earned a Michelin star and 4 AA rosettes while simultaneously working as a health coach and food consultant.

Us: Your achievements in the culinary world are impressive. What inspired your transition into competitive running?

Sergio: My journey into running began later in life, at the age of 44, after being inspired by the Asia Pacific Out Games in Wellington in 2011. Following the end of a long-term relationship, I sought solace in running, using it as a means to overcome heartbreak and connect with the LGBTQ+ community. Since then, I've participated in numerous races, including ultra-marathons, full marathons, and 10/5km races, pushing my limits and setting personal records along the way.

Us: How has running impacted your life and well-being?

Sergio: Running has been transformative for both my physical and mental health. It has served as a powerful tool for combating depression and boosting self-esteem. The release of endorphins during a run has been invaluable in reducing stress and enhancing mood. Additionally, maintaining an active lifestyle has helped me stay youthful both inside and out, proving that age is just a number.

Us: Age is definitely just a number, and we’re super excited to have your youthfulness at the Rainbow Games. As one of our participants, how do you think events like these contribute to the LGBTQ+ community?

Sergio: The Rainbow Games provide a platform for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community to come together, not only to compete but also to celebrate shared experiences and camaraderie. It's an opportunity to showcase our talents and resilience on an international stage while promoting inclusivity and diversity. I encourage everyone to explore sports and other activities as a means of fostering connection and well-being within the community.

Sergio Guzzardi's story is one of triumph over adversity, from the heat of the kitchen to the thrill of the racetrack. As he continues to break barriers and challenge stereotypes, Sergio exemplifies the resilience and spirit of the LGBTQ+ community.


stay up-to-date on all things Rainbow Games. See you in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2024!