April 19, 2012 (Canmore, AB) – Randy Starkman, who passed away recently at the age of 51, was the Toronto Star’s Amateur Sport reporter, a dedicated journalist that worked tirelessly to raise the profile of amateur sport in the time between the Olympics and very well respected by the Canadian sport community, athletes, coaches and officials alike.
Devon Kershaw recently tweeted his thoughts on Randy’s passing: “So very sad to hear that Randy Starkman passed away. He was truly/deeply passionate about sport, believed in us all & a wonderful person”
Toronto Star Photographer Steve Russell worked closely with Randy on many occasions, and the depth of Randy’s involvement in our sport is shown by photopgraphs Steve used in his tribute to Randy.
Randy Starkman loved what he did. He was devoted to it, compelled by it, and consumed with it. Randy never stopped working. And Randy’s career will never be forgotten. The outpouring of messages, blogs, and remembrances, by journalists and athletes from across the country, is a testament to the dedication he displayed in his career, Steve Russell, Staff Photographer Toronto Star
He was the master of staying out of the frame, I never worried about Randy being in my line of sight when photographing a practice or following an athlete in their home.
Sarah Renner and Thomas Grandi in Canmore, AB in 2005. © Steve Russell/Toronto Star
You don’t see Randy in this picture of Canadian Olympians Sarah Renner and Thomas Grandi outside their Canmore, Alberta home. He is just to the left holding my flash. The couple welcomed Randy (us) into their home, Grandi cooked for Randy (us).
Chandra Crawford wins Olympic sprint gold in Torino in 2006. © Steve Russell/Toronto Star
Randy paid me a huge compliment after the 2006 Olympics, the Star team was to write about their favourite Olympic moment, I wrote about Chandra Crawford’s surprise Gold in the Ladies Sprint skiing. Randy had written about the same thing. He killed his story after reading mine, he slapped my shoulder saying, “Crap Russell, you just wrote me out of the paper” At the next two Olympics we would cover he always checked what my Olympic moment was and joked that he did not want to go up against me again!
Laurent Roux in the Canadian Team's wax room at Torino Games 2006. [Steve Russell/Toronto Star]
Randy’s instincts were second to none, at the 2006 Olympics he asked me if I thought it would be worth the effort to get into Team Canada’s wax house to photograph the famous ski pole Sara Renner broke in her silver medal run with Becky Scott. I jumped at the chance. Before I ran off Randy looking at the weather, wet and drizzly, told me to get pictures of the technicians waxing Becky Scott’s skis. Becky would finish out of the medals, coaches, technician Laurent Roux, and Becky said it was because she missed her wax. Starkman had the story.
Randy Starkman reads a children's book to Aria Renner. © Chris So/Toronto Star
Chris so captured this typical Randy Starkman moment, reading from a children’s book (Bedtime for Frances) which be brought and gave to Aria Renner, then 2 years old. Aria is the first child of Olympic medalist Sara Renner and world Cup Champion Thomas Grandi.