We are thrilled to welcome Vicki Huber Rudawsky to the Oiselle family. Vicki will be joining not only as an ambassador for Team Oiselle, but will also be representing the company with our wholesale customers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Vicki is one of our all-time heroes, and a woman who not only achieved the pinnacle of success in her running (6th place at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988!) but struggled through myriad injuries over a 5-6 year period. She also took time off from the sport to have a daughter. Through all of this her running spirit lived on, and she travelled across the country as a single mom with her baby daughter to end up making her second Olympic team in 1996. During her running career Vicki engendered (maybe pioneered!) the Oiselle spirit of grace, positive energy, courage, perseverance, and an intrinsic love of running. And can she fly…
I was lucky enough to be a collegiate runner on the East Coast while Vicki was dominating the sport at Villanova in the late 1980s. She was THE superstar of the sport, and virtually unbeatable. She was the NCAA Champion indoors and outdoors her Sophomore year, and after a 9th place finish in XC the Fall of Junior year wracked up 8 NCAA titles including a double (1500/3000) Indoors and an XC title fall of her 5th year in 1989. She ran effortlessly, with a big smile on her face.
But what I most remember about Vicki during her running career was her kind and positive spirit. She remembered competitors’ names and would say hello in the meet hotel during NCAAs or at big invitational meets. She would cheer for her teammates on the track before and after her races. We could tell that she honestly loved running, leading most of her races from the front and coasting away from the field to test herself and her abilities. In the Seoul Olympic 3000m, a large group of us were watching from my teammate’s off campus apartment. We were screaming our hearts out for her (take 8 minutes and 37 seconds to watch Vicki’s race from her junior year in college) and started pounding the floor when she took the lead. A neighbor called the cops…thankfully they arrived after the race finished.
Vicki made us all fans: not jealous or over-competitive young women runners, but sisters in sport. And when she came back from the Games to compete again for Villanova she was the same Vicki, wishing everyone well and humbly saying thank you for the multitude of congratulations that came her way.
Vicki has built a wonderful life in the DE/PA area with her husband Rudy, daughter, and son. Vicki passed on the love of running to her daughter Alyssa, who signed on to run for the NC State Wolfpack next year. Vicki remains a positive force, when confronted by my superfan-dom she was gracious as always: “I do realize that what I have accomplished is pretty cool and takes a ton of hard work, but I feel so fortunate, lucky and blessed to have had the best people in my life to help make it happen. And, now I get to meet and be associated with even more great people!”
We are so happy that she is joining Oiselle, and look forward to having you all meet her and cheer for her along with us in whatever she is doing.