Posted by Editor on 04/16/12
I got off the plane today from Belgium, where I had been covering the Mountain Bike World Cup, and the first thing Tracy - my wife and partner at CC - told me was that Randy Starkman had died. This was shocking news, Randy was only 51, and gearing up for his 13th Olympics, which he covered for the Toronto Star newspaper.
I've known Randy for approximately three Olympic cycles (which is the way we often mark things in this business) and, although we didn't see each other often, I counted him as a friend. In a newspaper world that - in Canada - is dominated by the big sports (hockey, baseball, basketball, football), Randy was about the only mainstream sports journalist in Canada to focus on the 'other' sports.
While it was his job to cover the Olympic sports that only captured mainstream attention in Canada every four years, it was more than a job for Randy. He was passionately interested in Canadian sports and Canadian success in all sports, including cycling.
I would hear from Randy on a regular basis if he had a question about what was happening in cycling, or to solicit my opinion - or offer his. He kept up on the sport and was genuinely interested in the athletes he covered; which was shown by the number who considered him a friend. While we didn't get a chance to hang out often, when we did, we would end up having long conversations about the state of Canadian sport.
The Canadian Cycling Association is but one of the Canadian sports federations who issued a statement about Randy's passing today:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Randy Starkman, a true champion of amateur sports, a tireless advocate of athletes from all sports in Canada. Randy was always enthusiast in sharing the stories of our athletes. Throughout his illustrious career covering 12 Olympic Games and countless major sport events, Randy built warm relationships with sports administrators and athletes alike in the Canadian Sport Community. He will be missed by all of us,” said Greg Mathieu, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary General of the Canadian Cycling Association.
Randy will be missed, and the Olympics will be worse off for his absence in London.
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