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 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 doctorate at Stanford College. 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 Mission District which to this day carries his name.
Waddell had a daughter in 1983, Jessica Waddell Lewinstein, with fellow gay-activist lesbian Sara Lewinstein who he had met while founding The Games. He died of AIDS in 1987. His battle against HIV/AIDS is depicted in the award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt.
Waddell wrote an autobiography titled Gay Olympian with fellow sports writer Dick Schaap.
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