Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi: A true champion

Published On July 22, 2012 | By Kathryn Tappen

Jessica Ghawi (photo from

Jessica Ghawi knew how blessed every single day of life was.

One month ago, Ghawi narrowly escaped a deadly shooting in a downtown Toronto mall. Following the horrific incident she wrote, “often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.”

On Thursday evening, her gift of life came to an abrupt and tragic end.

Jessica Ghawi was one of the senseless victims of the Aurora, CO cineplex shooting. She, like all of us here at SGS, was a sports journalist. She had all the tools to be one of the best: the work ethic, the passion, the knowledge, and the respect of her peers.

Jessica aspired for greatness. She was not ready to settle, nor would she, for mediocrity.

Sadly, because of a random act of violence, we will never get to see Jessica’s potential. We will never again get to benefit from her beautiful writing, her charismatic Tweets where you felt like she was one of your good gal friends, and her witty charm that captured the attention of those around her.

But while we will never see Jessica again, her memory lives on all around us. She left us with her inspiring words. And now that the nation has learned who Jessica Ghawi was, I have no doubt that many young women who aspire to have a career in this sports industry will look up to her as their role model.

Jessica never got to finish the job she began. But she opened the door to so many others who will now follow in her footsteps.

That, in my eyes, is a true champion.


Check out reflections on Jessica Ghawi from some of our other writers: Alice Cook, Tanya Ray Fox and Arielle Aronson.

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About The Author

Kathryn Tappen is the host of NHL Tonight on the NHL Network. Kathryn previously worked for NESN as a studio host for Bruins games and as the lead anchor for SportsDesk. Kathryn is also an athlete, as she was an Academic All-American as a member of the track and cross country teams at Rutgers. She is a former record holder in the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase.