According to the Canadian Olympic Committee on Thursday in a press release, the Canadian Olympic Committee will be presenting a new humanitarian award in 2014. The award is in honour of Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star who passed away in April of 2012, and will be presented to the Canadian amateur athlete who not only shows excellence in his or her chosen sport, but is also recognized as an exemplary individual in his or her Canadian community as well.
The award will be presented to a Canadian male and female athlete once every two years starting in 2014. The first recipients of the award will be named at the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Calgary on June 6, 2014.
Each winner of the award will also receive a monetary prize. Half of the athletes' winnings will go to a charity of their choice.
Starkman died in 2012 shortly after covering the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials in Montreal. Among his most popular stories included the Ben Johnson steroid scandal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the fact that South Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-Na fired Canadian Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser as her coach following the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, and a book he wrote titled On the Edge, about the Canadian women's alpine ski team.
Starkman was also very close to Canadian Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, who is one of Canada's greatest Olympians ever. Hughes, who won six medals for Canada (four in speed skating and two in cycling) was in the process of writing her biography with Starkman upon the time of his death.
Starkman was also recognized throughout the Canadian sports media industry for his passion towards amateur athletics. He reportedly turned down more lucrative positions to focus on the Canadian amateur sports scene. His last story on April 2, 2012 was about the concussion problems facing the Canadian women's water polo team.