South African nominated for Gay Games 2006 Tom Waddell Award

Award named for Gay Games founder will be presented at the Chicago Gay Games opening ceremony

June 29, 2006

Gary Bath
SAN FRANCISCO — Four women and four men have been named as finalists for the 2006 Tom Waddell Award, the international Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has announced.

The Tom Waddell Award is presented every four years to one male and one female for outstanding service in athletics, the arts, or volunteerism. The names of this year�s recipients will be revealed to the thousands of participants and spectators at the Chicago Gay Games VII opening ceremony on 15 July at Soldier Field.

�The 2006 finalists are citizens of Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa and the U.S.�, said Charlie Carson, Chair of the FGG�s Awards Committee. �Selecting the finalists has been an enjoyable and difficult responsibility because all of this year�s nominees have long, distinguished records of volunteer work on behalf of the Gay Games and the wider LGBT community�.

First presented in 1990 at Vancouver�s Gay Games III, just three years after Dr. Waddell�s death, the award is for people who epitomise the following four criteria:
  • inspiration of pride through leadership and excellence in sports, culture, or volunteerism;
  • participation at one's personal best and in a way that inspires others;
  • devotion of energies to the success of the Gay Games and/or related activities without regard for personal gain;
  • personification of the standards of commitment, selflessness, and love of humanity.

    �We want to thank and acknowledge all of the Gay Games supporters who submitted nominations on behalf of their friends and acquaintances who live the ideals exhibited by Tom Waddell�, Carson said. �No matter who the recipients are, the FGG is honoured that so many people around the world continue to volunteer their time and energy to making the Gay Games a success for its thousands of participants�.

    The finalists for this year�s Tom Waddell Award are:

    Female –

    Cindy �Gert� McMullin (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.) � Through her activities with the NAMES Project, she creates and maintains quilts for the Gay Games and one of the Gay Games� core events, the International Rainbow Memorial Run.

    Rose Mary Mitchell (San Francisco, California, U.S.) � Gay Games II volunteer and former FGG Director dedicated to both arts and athletic issues.

    Dr. Jessica Seaton (Los Angeles, California, U.S.) � Dedicated to fitness for life in the global aquatics community, she is a former officer for West Hollywood Aquatics and International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics.

    Lydia la Rivi�re Zijdel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) � Special needs activist whose pioneering work for Amsterdam�s Gay Games in 1998 created new standards for the disabled in Europe.

    Male —-

    Gary Bath (Johannesburg, South Africa) � Devoted volunteer for TOGS and Johannesburg Pride, he has been instrumental in making Gay Games participation available for South Africans.

    Derek Liecty (Oakland, California, U.S.) � Volunteer since Gay Games II, he is a charter FGG director and former officer who during his tenure focused on outreach efforts around the world.

    Jerry Lovell (Valley Village, California, U.S.) � Long-time officer for the International Gay Bowling Organization and former FGG treasurer, he is instrumental in organizing annual LGBT bowling tournaments in his hometown Los Angeles and elsewhere.

    Peter Moews (Sofia, Bulgaria) � Founder of Sport Club Janus Cologne and co-founder of the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation, now a leader in the LGBT sports community in Bulgaria.

    Previous Tom Waddell Award Recipients —-

    1990 – Paul Mart – charter board member of San Francisco Arts & Athletics, the original governing body of the Gay Games.
    1994 – Rikki Streicher (deceased) – charter board member of San Francisco Arts & Athletics.
    1998 – Ruth Gursky – revitalised Team New York to attend Gay Games V.
    2002 – Susan Kennedy and Stuart Borrie – Susan for her work with the FGG and Stuart for his organising efforts for Sydney�s Gay Games VI.

    For more information about the Federation of Gay Games, go to www.gaygames.org. For information about Gay Games VII in Chicago from 15-22 July, go to www.gaygameschicago.org.

    About Dr. Tom Waddell:
    Dr. Tom Waddell was the founder and president of the San Francisco Arts & Athletics organisation that presented Gay Games I in 1982 and Gay Games II in 1986. He was a visionary who embraced athletics and the idea of a Gay Games as a celebration of the gay and lesbian community, as a showcase of athletic talent, a chance to openly compete, and an opportunity to be free. A talented athlete through his college years, he continued training while serving in the army and qualified for the decathlon on the U.S. Olympic team that competed in Mexico City in 1968. He was thrilled to finished sixth with a personal best effort. He later attended Stanford University Medical School and became an internist in San Francisco. In 1980, he worked with Paul Mart and Mark Brown to plan and organise the concept of a gay multi-sport event that afforded the opportunity for all athletes to participate regardless of skill, ability, race or sexual orientation. Following a highly publicised bout with AIDS, Tom died in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Sara Waddell-Lewinstein, and their daughter, Jessica Waddell-Lewinstein. His biography, �Gay Olympian�, was co-written with journalist Dick Schaap and published in 1996 (Alfred A. Knopf). – Issued by Federation of Gay Games

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