As the 51st Olympic Games draw to a close, Canadians gathered to honour the memory of a legend who crafted much of Canada’s story in 12 of them.
Randy Starkman was involved in the Olympic Games not only as a reporter but as a friend and supporter of the athletes and the Canadian Olympic movement.
It was a bittersweet morning at Canada Olympic House as family and friends of Starkman, including his daughter Ella, brother Laurie, athletes and journalists celebrated the man who found the people behind the athletes and told their stories.
Clad in ‘Team Starkman’ T-shirts, guests shed tears and shared memories over breakfast.
Four-time Olympic medallist Marnie McBean spoke about Starkman on behalf of Canadian athletes.
“He was there when we were nothing and he followed us until we became something and that’s why we will always love him,” she said.
Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut promised to honour Starkman’s legacy.
“We will continue to carry the torch he lit. We will make sure Canadians know our athletes – not just for the sport they do – but for the people they are,” he said.
Laurie and Ella Starkman shared a poem they wrote in memory of their brother and father. Guests alternated between laughter and tears as they listened to the well-crafted words, delivered by Ella and Laurie with eloquence and passion.
After viewing an emotional video montage featuring various Olympians describing their favourite memories of Starkman, Ella said:
“It means a lot to me to see how he affected the lives of so many athletes in such a positive way. It’s nice to know that it’s not just me who got to see how amazing he was.”
– By Kristina Velan