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Class notes: An Olympic career

Ron Judd prepares to chronicle his sixth Olympic Games

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Ron Judd, left, with wife and fellow Olympic journalist Meri-Jo Borzilleri, at the Lake Placid Olympic bobsled track with “Bobby Bobsledder.”

Ron Judd (‘85), a reporter and columnist for the Seattle Times and author of several outdoors books, has traveled the world to cover the Olympic Games.

He recently talked to Window about preparing to cover his sixth games this winter in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.

It’s not just sports. It’s the Olympics: It’s like the one time the world all comes together in one

place and focuses on one thing that doesn’t involve people trying to kill each other. Most professional sports, I can take or leave. I’ve seen too much of the dark side – the money and the egos. But these athletes are different. Most will persevere and scrape by and do whatever they have to do

to get into the Olympics, purely because they want to be best at something. To me that’s pretty special.

Favorite Olympic moments in journalism: One was in Nagano at my first Olympics in ’98. It was the first year for women’s hockey as a medal sport. These girls had grown up watching their brothers play hockey. The U.S. and Canada were by far the two best teams and they met in the gold medal game – and there was a lot of vitriol. When

the Americans won, everyone dropped their sticks and realized this was such a historic occasion. Women from both teams started crying. These teams didn’t like each other, but they still realized it was a cool moment.

Favorite Olympic moments not in journalism: We met for the first time in Athens, working in the same office. I used (journalist) Meri-Jo Borzilleri) as a joke tester. If she laughed, I thought, ‘This is a good joke.’ If I got nothing, I would just take it out. In Turino, we worked out of the same office again. She worked in Colorado Springs and we both claimed Apolo Ohno as a hometown athlete. We got to be really good friends and one thing led to another. We got engaged in Lake Placid, and got married in 2008. She’s going to be credentialed for the Vancouver games writing for the Seattle Times and other newspapers as a freelancer.

What to watch in Whistler: It’s a down year for U.S. figure skaters, but there will be some intense

matchups on the women’s side. Between Kim Yuna of Korea and

two or three Japanese skaters, these women are at a level unlike anything I’ve ever seen in U.S. figure skating. I think we have a good chance for the first time in a long

time winning a gold medal in the four-man bobsled. The Canadians will have the fastest bobsled/luge track in the world, by far. Just that track will be a story.

Judd’s book, “The Winter Olympics, An Insider’s Guide to the Legends, the Lore and the Games,” was released this year by The Mountaineers Books.