- Category : Sports-Track-and-Field
- Type : GP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 3
American sportsman and physician.
He founded the Gay Olympics in 1982 in San Francisco. The international sporting event was later renamed the Gay Games after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) sued Waddell for using the word "Olympic" in the original name. The Gay Games are held every four years.
Waddell met Lee Brian in 1970, and they had a five-year relationship. In 1975, Waddell met landscape designer Charles Deaton, 12 years his senior, and they became lovers. A June 1976 issue of People magazine featured the couple in a cover article. They were the first gay couple to appear on the cover of a major, national magazine.
In 1981, while founding the Gay Games, Waddell met two people with whom he formed major relationships. One was public relations man and fundraiser Zohn Artman, with whom he fell in love and began a relationship. The other was lesbian athlete Sara Lewinstein. Both Tom and Sara had longed to have a child, and they decided to have a child together. Their daughter, Jessica, was born in 1983. To protect Jessica's and her mother's legal rights, Tom and Sara married in 1985.
In 1985, Waddell was diagnosed with AIDS. He lived to see the success of Gay Games II in 1986, and even participated, winning the gold medal in the javelin event. Tom Waddell died from AIDS on July 11, 1987, aged 49, in San Francisco, California.
His battle against HIV/AIDS is one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. With sports writer Dick Schaap, Waddell wrote an autobiography titled Gay Olympian.