San Francisco was host to the first Gay Games in 1982 when it started under the leadership of Dr. Tom Waddell, a gay Olympian who saw the need for a sporting celebration of gay pride. Sadly, Waddell died of AIDS in 1987 not long after the second Gay Games in 1986, also held in San Francisco. His battle against HIV/AIDS is depicted in the award-winning documentary Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt.
Waddell wrote an autobiography titled Gay Olympian with fellow sports writer Dick Schaap. Waddell would be greatly pleased to see that Gay Games is in its 7th version and has become the world’s largest sporting and cultural event for LGBT athletes, artists, musicians, and others.
(The 1986 Games were the first Games participated in by GlobalGayz owner Richard Ammon, in swimming, hence the majority of swim photos in this gallery.)

Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
San Francisco was host
San Francisco was host to the first Gay Games in 1982 when it started under the leadership of Dr. Tom Waddell, In 1986 the second Gay Games was also held in San Francisco. Here is the opening ceremony. The number of participants doubled from Gay Games I to Gay Games II and continued to double every four years reaching its highest number in New York City in 1994 with nearly 14,000 athletes. The figure has remained about the same in subsequent Games up to 2006 in Chicago.
Opening ceremony of Gay Games
Opening ceremony of Gay Games II with San Francisco mayor Diane Feinstein and Dr. Tom Waddell on the stage. The number of participants doubled from Gay Games I to Gay Games II and continued to double every four years reaching its highest number in New York City in 1994 with nearly 14,000 athletes. The figure has remained about the same in subsequent Games up to 2006 in Chicago.
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco
Gay Games 1986 San Francisco