Digital Commonwealth

Gymnastics Coaches and Captains (c. 1959)

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Gymnastics Coaches and Captains (c. 1959)
This black and white photograph shows (left to right) Assistant Coach Walter Johnson, gymnastics co-captain Tom Waddell (1959), gymnastics co-captain Gerald "Skip" Sutherland (1959), and Coach Frank Wolcott.
Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
Jean and Jim Genasci Papers
Springfield College
Springfield College--Alumni and alumnae
Springfield College--Faculty
Springfield College--Gymnastics
Springfield College--Gymnastics--Men
Springfield College--Sports--Men
Springfield College--Sports
Waddell, Tom, 1937-1987
Johnson, Walter A.
Wolcott, Frank A.
Sutherland, Gerald A.
Group portraits
MassachusettsHampden (county)Springfield
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Springfield College
The 1958-1959 men’s gymnastics team scheduled eighteen shows, five dual meets, and competed in the New England Intercollegiate Championships and Eastern Collegiate Conference. While a student at Springfield College, Frank A. Wolcott (class of 1952) was captain of the Springfield College gymnastics team and a two-time New England champion on the pommel horse and flying rings. He coached at his alma mater for twenty-six years, retiring in 1981. During this time, Springfield gymnasts placed in the top four at the NCAA Nationals eleven times, captured eight individual national titles, and received sixty-two All American awards. Tom Waddell (November 1, 1937 - July 11, 1987) was an American Olympic athlete who is best known for founding the Gay Games, a competition modeled on the Olympics for athletes of all sexual orientations. Although he was originally born Tom Flubacher, he changed his last name later in his life. Waddell attended Springfield College, where he competed in gymnastics, track and field, and football. Following the sudden death of his best friend, Don Marshman, during their junior year, Waddell decided to pursue medicine. After graduation, he attended the New Jersey College of Medicine, Georgetown University, and Stanford University. While completing his studies, he traveled on a track and field tour of Africa sponsored by the US State Department and competed in the 1968 Olympics, where he placed sixth in the decathlon and broke five personal records. Waddell established his private practice in San Francisco in 1974, shortly after which he began serving as medical director of the Whittaker Corporation and as a physician for the Saudi Arabian Olympic team. While competing in a gay bowling league in 1982, Waddell was inspired to create the Gay Games (originally called the Gay Olympics). In 1985, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Waddell lived to see the enormous success of the second Gay Games in 1986 and to win the gold medal in the javelin event.