Tom Waddell: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dr. Tom Waddell (November 1, 1937 - July 11, 1987) was the gay American sportsman who founded the international sporting event called the Gay Games, which was named such after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) sued Dr. Waddell for using the word "Olympic" in the original name "Gay Olympics".


Tom was a football player and gymnast when he was in college at Springfield College, Massachusetts. He served as a military doctor afterward. He represented USA in decathlon at the 1968 Summer Olympics, in which he placed sixth.

In his medical career, he received his MD from Stanford University Medical School. During his life, Waddell had done research on viruses, as well as served the Saudi Royal family. This was followed by moving back to San Francisco where he was employed at a local clinic in the Civic Center area of San Francisco which to this day carries his name.

Waddell had a daughter in 1983, Jessica Waddell Lewinstein, with lesbian activist Sara Lewinstein, whom he had met while founding The Games. He contracted AIDS in 1987. His battle against HIV/AIDS is one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt.

Waddell wrote an autobiography titled Gay Olympian with fellow sports writer Dick Schaap.

He also went by the name Tom Waddel with just one L.

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