Remembering longtime Vermont sports reporter Andy Gardiner
Andy Gardiner, a sports reporter who wrote nationally for USA Today, has died.
He covered nearly a dozen Olympic games, and was named Vermont Sportswriter of the year four
Andy Gardiner was technically a sports reporter, but was often described by the athletes he wrote about as a storyteller.
Nini Anger is a board member at the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame and was a former star gymnast at Colchester High School. Gardiner wrote about her when she was named Vermont's Athlete of the Year in 1977.
"There just was a genuine kindness about Andy," Anger said. "He wanted to know about you not only as an athlete but as a person... and I think that was what set Andy apart as a writer — he encompassed the whole person, not just the athlete."
Born in Tennessee, Gardiner came to Vermont in 1973 and covered a wide range of sports including hockey, football, lacrosse, and gymnastics. He was a frequent guest on Vermont Public's Morning Edition, sharing his expertise on college basketball.
Covering eleven different Olympic Games, he profiled star athletes including famed skiers Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller, and Jamaican track star Usian Bolt. He also covered sports for the national newspaper USA Today from 2000 to 2012 before deciding to return full time to the Green Mountain State for coverage of Vermont sports and athletes from the high school to collegiate levels.
Andy Gardiner's recent health issues left him unable to attend his upcoming induction ceremony to the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, but Nini Anger visited Gardiner's home in South Burlington along with former colleagues of Gardiner's from the Burlington Free Press, where he covered sports for many years.
And Anger says Gardiner was able to receive the honor before his passing: "John Maley, who's the chair of our board, presented him with a plaque inducting him into the Hall of Fame, and he held it to his chest and just hugged it," Anger said. "You could tell how important it was to him."
Andy Gardiner was 72.
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