• Photo for Real Athlete: Runner and wrestler Noel Baggett
    Photo Credit: courtesy of the Gay Games VII

Real Athlete: Runner and wrestler Noel Baggett

By Gay Games VII Staff

Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

He might be retired from his career, but 65-year-old Noel Baggett from Oakland, Calif., is still wrestling and running up a storm.

Are you on a team? What are your events?
I'm on the Golden Gate Wrestling Team and I run with East Bay Frontrunner.

What is your goal for Gay Games Chicago 2006?
My goal is simply to participate in my sports.

How long have you been playing your sport? What role does it play in your life?
I've been wrestling for a year and a half and running for 46 years. It has kept me fit and helped relax me and keep my weight down.

Has someone served as an inspiration or as a mentor to you? If so, who?
Yes, Roger Brigham is one of my wrestling coaches and has had to overcome several physical limitations (including artificial hips). My teammates have been extremely supportive. I am old, slow and catch on very slowly and they never give up on me.

What other sports have you played or do you play?
Tennis, handball, softball, volleyball. I chose wrestling and running for my Gay Games events because I am currently active in those activities.

Have you or a loved one ever had to overcome a serious injury, medical condition or illness that disrupted or challenged your athletic or performing interests?
Yes, I've had a back injury, knee injury, shoulder operation and two foot injuries.

Interview courtesy of the Gay Games VII organizers. For more information about this year's Gay Games and how you can participate, visit