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Tom Waddell

Full name: Thomas "Tom" Waddell (Flubacher-)
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1.5 (187 cm)
Weight: 181 lbs (82 kg)
Born: November 1, 1937 in Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Died: July 11, 1987 in San Francisco, California, United States
Affiliations: US Army, (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Biography

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).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics Men's Decathlon United States USA 6

Men's Decathlon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank P(1962HT) P(1985HT) P(1985AT) T(H) T(A) D P(1962T) P(1985T) H T
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Final Standings 6 7.719 7.608 7.675
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 100 metres 28T 733 744 789 11.3 11.33
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 100 metres Heat Four 4 733 744 789 11.3 11.33
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Long jump 6 7.47 915 927
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Shot put 9 14.45 756 756
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States High jump 3T 865 813 2.01
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 400 metres 19 753 754 758 51.2 51.25
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 400 metres Heat Five 5 753 754 758 51.2 51.25
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 110 metre hurdles 15T 817 785 803 15.3w 15.39w
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 110 metre hurdles Heat Three 5 817 785 803 15.3w 15.39w
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Discus throw 8 43.73 758 741
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Pole vault 4 932 760 4.50
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States Javelin throw 3 63.70 806 794
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 1,500 metres 9 5:04.52 384 5:04.5
1968 Summer 30 Ciudad de México Athletics United States 1,500 metres Heat Three 3 5:04.52 384 5:04.5
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