When Dr. Tom Waddell and other LGBT sports leaders in San Francisco set about creating the first Gay Games, they wanted a legitimate LGBT-centric wrestling club to help host the competition. Waddell turned to Don Jung, a former California state high school wrestling champion who had wrestled collegiately for Chabot. An art teacher at Mission High School, where he served as head wrestling coach from 1979 to 1986, Jung was a well-known fixture in local mainstream wrestling circles.
Jung formed Golden Gate Wrestling Club in 1981. An instant West Coast LGBT wrestling rivalry began with the older Southern California Wrestling Club in Los Angeles which helped both clubs flourish through the ensuing years. Jung was able to reach out to his mainstream contacts to provide the best possible officiating and compeititon for the first Gay Games in 1982 as wrestling became the only sport to be officially sanctioned in every subsequent Gay Games.
San Francisco State University Athletic Director Allen Abraham gave the keynote opening address to the Gay Games wrestlers. In the crowd that day was a lightweight grappler from New York City: Gene Dermody, a high school wrestling coach in New Jersey. Dermody was so buoyed by his experience in the event that he immediately went home, quit his job, and moved to San Francisco. In 1986 after Jung passed away from AIDS during Gay Games II, in which he won a silver medal before checking into a hospital, Dermody succeeded him as club president and head coach.
Gene Dermody & Don Jung; Gay Games II 1986 Team Photo 1988