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04/17 2012

A Tribute to Randy Starkman

Randy was a friend.

It was hard to know how much to share with Randy because I felt like he was a friend first. I came to learn I could completely trust him. I can’t tell you how many times we just chatted for hours, face-to-face or over the phone, about everything and anything. So often he was simply a sympathetic ear that I could vent to, as opposed to a sports reporter looking for a dirty scoop.

Although we first connected around his passion for sport, including rowing, we really connected around our families. I think we shared more stories about our daughters over the last 8 years than we did about sport. When I called a colleague today at the COC she said it perfectly: “Although I’ve never met Randy’s daughter I feel like I’ve known her for years.” That’s exactly how I feel.  We often swapped children’s book titles – we knew each other would appreciate hearing about the victories, small and large, of our girls.

Randy often provided me insight into what to expect in the years and months to come as his daughter is a few years older than mine. No matter what the ‘heads up’ was that he provided, his daughter was as close to perfection as he could imagine.  You could hear his love for her in the words he chose when he shared stories – but more than that you could see it in the way his face lit up and in his body language.

I will miss Randy. I will miss not seeing him each time I’m in Toronto. I will miss not sharing my final ‘Olympic-experience’ with him this summer in London. I know that I speak for so many Canadian Olympic athletes when I say he was one-of-a-kind, trust-worthy and his character was of the highest integrity.

But most importantly, Randy was a friend.

My most sincere and heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his wife and daughter.


(Read more Tributes to Randy at the Toronto Star’s website.)

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