Someone You Should Know: Voice of the Stampede
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – From the calm, to the exciting Jim Olander has given plenty of both those sides in his 16 years broadcasting play-by-play for the Sioux Falls Stampede.
Many of the Stampede players he has been able to be around over the years move onto bigger things, with some making the NHL. They don’t forget him.
“One of our game tickets had Charlie Lindgren’s picture on it from a few years ago and I sent it to him and said you’re still a big star here. He wrote back right away and said, oh that’s awesome,” said Olander.
When asking about his experience leading up to his 1000th game called, it’s never about just him.
“They could ignore the lowly broadcaster in Sioux Falls, but anytime I’ve ever asked for an interview, or tried to get a sound bite, they’re more than willing to take the time to chat with me, it’s really not because of me, it’s because of the Stampede organization and the city of Sioux Falls,” said Olander
The Stampede have won the Clark Cup Title twice, the first in 2007, and then the second in 2015. The one in 2015 was special because it was the first in the Premiere Center.
“Barely made the playoffs, upset Sioux City in the first round, then just got hot and went on a run. I’ll never forget the atmosphere in here, we did a blue out the whole lower level was wearing blue Clark Cup T-shirts,” said Olander.
Olander graduated from St. Cloud State University, and immediately started looking for an open position in sports broadcasting. He says, “I decided I really wanted to give Hockey broadcasting a try — I was lucky enough to find out that the stampede were hiring, I didn’t know anything about Sioux Falls so I did apply, came down here did an interview and ended up getting hired.”
There have been some moments along the way that have been much bigger than the game of hockey. He proposed to his, at the time, girlfriend. Right on the ice after wiener dog races in 2009.
“I had to call the game so through the whole first period, I’m thinking about that I have to propose here and how am I going to do it and I probably checked my pocket about 25 times to make sure the ring was still in there,” he said.
Olander also told us that getting home from the away games at 3am, sometimes 4am, with two kids at home has been tough at times. Although, he said that doesn’t take anything away from his love of broadcasting for the Stampede.