Thomas Flubacher WADDELL

United States of America USA

Athletics

  • Games participations
    1
  • First Olympic Games
    Mexico City 1968
  • Year of Birth
    1937
Olympic Results

Biography

Thomas Flubacher WADDELL

Tom Waddell had a short athletics career, competing in the 1968 Olympics while in the US Army, after placing third at the Olympic Trials that year. At Springfield College Waddell had competed in football, track & field, and gymnastics. He initially studied physical education but after an injury in gymnastics caused the death of his best friend, he switched to studying pre-med. Waddell attended medical school at the New Jersey School of Medicine and Dentistry and did his internship at Beth El Hospital in Brooklyn. In 1966 he was drafted and worked in the military as a preventive medical officer, especially as an expert in tropical diseases, but continued to train in athletics with an eye towards the 1968 Olympics. After the Olympics he did residencies at Georgetown and Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, and then served a fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford.

Waddell had known of his homosexual leanings in high school and in the early 1970s, after his athletics career ended, he settled in San Francisco, and explored his sexuality fully. He had several long-term relationships, but he is best known for starting the Gay Olympics in 1982, which had to be changed to the Gay Games, after the USOC protested the use of Olympic in the games' name. Waddell won the 1986 Gay Games javelin throw title. Waddell was well-known as a gay activist, and a medical clinic in the Mission District of San Francisco has been named for him. He died of AIDS in 1987, one of the first Olympians to succumb to that disease. A biography of him was written by Dick Schaap, entitled Gay Olympian. Schaap wrote of him, "He may have been the impressive human being I ever met. Certainly, he was the most impressive athlete."

Personal Best\: Dec – 7675 (1968).

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Mexico City 1968

#6
Decathlon
Decathlon Athletics