Harvard Crimson, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle and New York Occasions sports activities journalist Mary “Gwen” Knapp ’83 died Jan. 20 at age 61 after a year-long battle with lymphoma. died.

Longtime buddy and former classmate Nancy W. Butillier ’83 first met Knapp at a 1981 Harvard softball recreation when it was raining below the scorers’ desk. Boutilier was pitching and Knapp was overlaying his The Crimson video games.

“Her enthusiasm, curiosity and keenness for the game captivated me from the beginning! It took me lower than 5 minutes with Gwen to find how superb she is!” wrote.

Greatest recognized for his San Francisco Chronicle columns from 2000 to 2012, Knapp lined sports activities and its intersections, from racism to doping to homophobia.

Earlier than pursuing a profession as an expert sportswriter, Knapp began his profession as a deputy sports activities editor at Crimson.Along with cover In on-campus observe and subject, Knapp swam for the ladies’s swimming and diving groups.

One among Knapp’s freshman roommates, Claudia S. Leonard ’83, remembers assembly her the day they moved into their dorm at 33 Matthews South in Harvard Yard.

“She might have appeared delicate and candy on that first encounter. Little did I do know what sort of ferocity she had in retailer for me on that first encounter,” Leonard stated. I acquired

“The need to do what is true, the will to do what is true”

In keeping with Knapp’s family and friends, Knapp was recognized for her integrity and strict moral reporting requirements, a trait that prolonged into her private life.

In 2001, Knapp questioned the legitimacy of former bicycle owner Lance E. Armstrong’s quite a few victories, admitting to utilizing performance-enhancing medicine in his Tour de France victory 12 years earlier.

Caroline A. Miller ’83, a buddy on the swim workforce, stated she was not shocked to learn Armstrong’s story in Knapp’s obituary.

“I simply laughed as a result of it was Gwen,” she stated.

“I revered her as a result of so many ladies have been nonetheless giving in to be good again then. Gwen was somebody who did not care if different individuals agreed along with her. “She at all times had vehement opinions about every part.”

Rebecca Knapp Adams, considered one of Gwen Knapp’s sisters, says Gwen Knapp’s daring reporting stems from her moral fortitude.

“When you knew Gwen, labored with Gwen, had any kind of relationship with Gwen, you already know that she is guilt-free and that her calls for, her willpower and her tenacity aren’t ego pushed. “It got here from a need to do the best factor, to see the best factor carried out.”

In keeping with Leonard, Knapp has remained a staunch optimist alongside her dedication to overlaying injustices within the sports activities world.

“She is going to do her greatest,” she stated. “Even though she at all times had one thing that haunted her in regards to the state of the world – some injustice – she was nonetheless a complete optimist in her coronary heart.”

“She laughed out loud, argued violently, and tried her hardest at every part,” Miller added.

keep in mind the “little issues”

Lawrence R. “Larry” Countryman ’83 first met Knapp in eighth grade after becoming a member of the swim workforce at a center faculty in Delaware.

Though they attended totally different excessive colleges, they stored in contact till they arrived at Harvard.

Countryman recollects that when Knapp was overlaying the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he referred to as Knapp through the males’s 1500m freestyle to learn the way the race was going.

Countryman is a freestyle long-distance swimmer who praised Knapp for remembering the “little issues” of others and tending to incorporate them in experiences he is aware of they’ll take pleasure in.

“She wished to ensure you have been taken care of, that you just have been part of issues – no matter it was.”

“I’ll always remember it,” he added.

Compatriots additionally spoke fondly of Knapp’s “loyalty” and generosity.

He stated that when his mom acquired sick and he needed to go residence, Knapp instructed him, “Come to the airport tomorrow morning. rice subject.

Gwen Knapp ’83 and her sisters pose for images at her sister Rebecca Knapp Adams’ wedding ceremony. Pictured left to proper: Nancy Knapp Piccione, Rebecca Knapp Adams, Susan Knapp McClements, Gwen Knapp. Courtesy of Susan Knapp McClements

“Sister determine”

The eldest of 4 sisters, Knapp is remembered each formally and unofficially as an influential chief.

Adams, considered one of Knapp’s youngest kids, stated that Gwen has at all times been a job mannequin for her older sisters.

“The massive sister position was actually necessary to her. She actually considered it as a accountability to all of us,” she stated. I believe he was a job mannequin.”

Adams added that whereas working as a swim coach over the summer season, Knapp was on the lookout for youngsters who wanted a “huge sister determine.”

The second oldest sister, Susan Knapp-McClements, stated Knapp has served as a “nice mentor” to all of her sisters’ kids.

Whereas in San Francisco, Knapp volunteered as a tutor at A Residence Away from Homelessness. This can be a non-profit group that gives mentorship, tutoring, counseling, and authorized help to kids who aren’t housed.

Reverend Alison Jax, the place Knapp was the director of volunteer companies and mentorship there, stated she was a useful volunteer.

“She was very fortunate to be one of many volunteers. They have been constant, confirmed up, did not make huge assumptions about something, and have been there to assist the children. Her curiosity and a love of life and a love of studying,” she stated.

Gwen Knapp’s different sister, Nancy Knapp Piccione, stated that past her position as a tutor, Gwen Knapp enjoys spending time along with her kids on the nonprofit.

“I believe she was clearly a job mannequin, an grownup who cared for them, however she preferred to face on their degree, perceive their lives, joke with them and assist them. I believe.”

Former Crimson Associate Sports Editor Gwen Knapp '83 smiles at her nephew.

Gwen Knapp is survived not solely by her father, Lawrence Knapp, but in addition by her three sisters.

The compatriot stated Gwen Knapp’s legacy was rooted in her pioneering journalism profession as a feminine sportswriter who at all times strived for equity and reality.

“Gwen at all times tried to do one thing totally different and wished to be good at it. She wished to excel and get issues proper,” he stated.

“I believe when she acquired into the game it was like, ‘Hey, individuals do not anticipate this from girls, so I will present them what girls can do.

— Employees Author Paton D. Roberts could be reached at paton.roberts@thecrimson.com. comply with her on her twitter @paton_dr.

—Employees Author Sophia C. Scott could be reached at sophia.scott@thecrimson.com. comply with her on her twitter @ScottSophia_.

By Editor

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