HWS at Sochi Olympics
Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2014
HWS alums Pierre McGuire '83, Dr. Ally Shirtz Howe '94 and Dave Schwartz '01 have arrived in Russia, on the coast of the Black Sea, for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
McGuire, an "Inside the Glass" analyst for NBC and NBC Sports Network's NHL coverage, has returned to the Olympic Games for a fifth time.
"Covering hockey at the Olympics is a dream come true," he says. "The passion and the skill level of the players are so intense at this level, and it's a great privilege to be a part of it."
"To be able to be there as a witness and to have the opportunity to contribute in any small way humbles me," says Howe, a team physician for the U.S. Women's Hockey Team, working, while in Sochi, primarily with the U.S. Olympic Committee as a physician for staff and VIPs. "It's amazing to me how much preparation, literally years and years, go into every athlete's life to be able to compete on this one stage. I'm in awe of that commitment."
An Olympic first-timer, Schwartz is covering the Games in Sochi as a sports anchor for KARE 11, a station serving Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., and as a columnist for Minnesota Hockey Magazine.
"This is something that I have worked my whole career for," he says. "It's an opportunity to cover the world's biggest sporting event with some of the best in my profession. I was actually a bit intimidated at first, but I'm very proud to be here."
Schwartz is most looking forward to being on site for the Gold medal men's hockey game. "I am a hockey fan first and I remember the 2010 Gold medal men's game as one of the most exciting games I have ever watched. I am hoping that history will repeat itself here in Sochi," he says, "only this time with USA winning."
McGuire, who won a Sports Emmy Award in 2013, is also anticipating a rousing men's hockey final.
"I think the U.S. and Canada have a legitimate chance to win metals. It's going to be really exciting," he says. "The biggest question I have going into the tournament is will the Russians be able to handle the pressure, because that was critically important for Canada in 2010 when they defended home ice and won the gold medal. It's not an easy thing to do, especially in an amped up hockey environment like you're going to see in Sochi."
Echoing McGuire's earlier sentiments, Howe says attending the Olympic Games is "a lifelong dream" come true.
"I have always gotten chills when the Olympic theme music plays," she says. "To be in a place where the world literally comes together to peacefully compete on an athletic stage feels so good -- especially in light of the violence we hear about in the world."
A member of the William Smith basketball and soccer teams, Howe received her B.S. in biology and went on to earn her M.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Board-certified in both family medicine and sports medicine, she spent eight years in the U.S. Air Force as a family and sports medicine physician. She is a member of the Maine Medical Center faculty and maintains her family medicine and obstetrics practice at the Falmouth Family Medicine Center, also seeing patients at the Sports Medicine Center in Portland.
Schwartz won an Emmy for on-camera talent at the 2011 Upper Midwest Emmy Awards in Minneapolis, Minn., and won the 2012 National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Award for Minnesota. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Hobart College and went on to earn a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Prior to joining KARE as a sports multimedia journalist, Schwartz was a sports director at KTAL in Shreveport, La.
An English major while at HWS, McGuire was a member of the Statesmen ice hockey, football and squash teams, as well as a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity. After graduation he played professional hockey in Europe for a year before returning to HWS to coach Hobart hockey. He has also coached at Babson College and St. Lawrence University, and served as a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins, head coach of the Hartford Whalers and assistant coach in the Ottawa Senators organization. He began his broadcasting career in 1997 as a radio color commentator for the Montreal Canadiens. He served as an analyst on "Habs This Week" and also on pre-game shows for the Ottawa Senators. He won a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Game Analyst for his work on the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship: Gold Final.
On campus, the Office of Intercultural Affairs will host viewing of the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. This event is open to the campus community. Pizza will be served.