Gay Games I
San Francisco
August 28 1982 to September 5 1982

The following is the text of the welcoming speech that Doctor Tom Waddell gave at the opening ceremonies of Gay Games I in San Francisco on Saturday August 28, 1982.


by Tom Waddell, M.D.
Chairman of The Gay Games I

Welcome to a dream that is now reality.

Welcome to a celebration of freedom.

These Gay Games, the first of their kind, are offered to Gay and enlightened people from all over the world. They are a departure from other events of this scope and magnitude in that the underlying philosophy is one of self-fulfillment and a spirit of friendship.

This is a first; it is our beginning, and as such, we expect these Games to set a solid precedent for future Games that are exemplary for wholesome and healthy athletics, devoid of the notion that beating someone is the sole criterion for winning. Participation makes us all winners.

And the Games are all of a piece. They require not only athletes, organizers, coaches, officials, and volunteer workers. They require most of all, you - the spectator - to complete the circle. It is essential that you too share the exhilaration of all you observe. That is just as much our goal.

This project has been a labor of love and will have impact and meaning in our future lives. Today, we open new doors and we not only step out, we emerge with bounding energy and unlimited opportunity. We will learn many things about ourselves this week and we will educate an untold number of others. We are simultaneously students and teachers. Let us hope that the audience at large is receptive to our expanded images. Let us hope that this process continues its evolution to dispel all arbitrary notions of our character.

We are pleased to welcome you to the city that so uniquely encourages us in this historic week. We invite you to enjoy the Games and all that San Francisco has to offer.

We think we have considered every detail for your comfort and enjoyment and we are available to you during your visit.

May good will abound.


A symbolic prelude to the Gay Games took place over a two month period as a lighted torch was relayed across the United States from New York City to San Francisco. The 4,000 mile run passed through more than 50 cities with 2,000 volunteer runners, walkers, and cyclists participating. The event was organized by Jon Roberson of Ashland, Oregon and 18 regional coordinators. The torch arrived in San Francisco on Saturday, August 28, 1982 and was carried by a man and woman into Kezar Stadium where it was used to light the Gay Games Flame.


Basketball, Billiards, Bowling, Boxing, Cycling, Golf, Marathon, Physique, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Wrestling


Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, West Germany, United States


Zohn Artman, David Bandy, Charlotte Coleman, Hydie Downard, Michael Evans, Allan Johnson, Sara Lewinstein, Derrill Loberg, Paul Mart, Chris Puccinelli, Alita Rosenfeld, Bob Ross, Harriman Thatcher, Tom Waddell, Brenda K. Young


This advertisement for Gay Games I was the centerfold of the 1982 Castro Street Fair Program. The Fair was held on August 15, 1982, 2 weeks before the start of Gay Games. The picture shows Tom Waddell in the USA shirt.



The information on this page was culled from the publication "Gay Athletic Games I",
the official program for the ceremonies and events of the Gay Games I.