Dr. Thomas (Flubacher) Waddell (SC Class 1959) was a doctor, a decathlon athlete who participated in the 1968 Olympics, and the founder of the Gay Games (1982). Dr. Waddell was drafted into the army in 1966 as a preventative-medicine officer and paratrooper. Rather than going to the Vietnam War he trained for the Olympics, becoming a US decathlete in the 1968 Olympics where he placed sixth. Dr. Waddell, after joining a gay bowling league, was inspired to organize a gay sporting event modeled after the Olympics. The first Gay Games was in San Francisco in 1982. The Gay Games promotes inclusivity in sport and life and is open to those regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
The collection contains newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, posters, correspondence, and short manuscripts on the life and work of Dr. Thomas F. Waddell. Most of the collection is made up of newspaper and magazine articles collected on his life, Olympic experience and death. Photographs include a series of photographs from when he set the high jump record at Springfield College. There are also two original posters from the 1982 Gay Games designed by K. Anderson.