Spodobalski, Scott’s girlfriend for the last two years of his life, received a shoutout from Scott in the ESPN legend’s iconic speech at the ESPYs last July, and has been among the legions of fans tweeting prayers for Scott with the hashtag #stustrong over the past several months.
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. Spodobalski & Scott Started Dating After Scott Was Diagnosed With Cancer
Spodobalski and Scott started dating in 2013, after Scott had been diagnosed with cancer. She was by his side throughout the 2013 and 2014 as his health declined and he was unable to continue working.
Scott, who had anchored ESPN’s Monday Night Football pregame and postgame coverage, missed the entire 2014 regular season while undergoing treatment.
On December 8, colleague Suzy Kolber led the crew in an emotional tribute to Scott, urging him to “keep fighting.”
Spodobalski was quick to tweet at Kolber and thank her for the tribute.
On November 11, Scott shot down a rumor circulating on Twitter that he was in hospice care.
2. Scott Was 23 Years Older Than Spodobalski
Scott was 49 when he died — 23 years older than the 26-year-old Spodobalski. The age gap, though, doesn’t appear to have hampered their relationship.
Spodobalski graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, New York in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management, according to her Linked-In page. She went on to work for United Health Group until 2013.
3. Scott Talked About Spodobalski During His ESPYs Speech
Since battling a rare form of cancer starting in 2007, Scott won the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2014 ESPYS for his courage and inspiration for all those fighting cancer. During the speech, he thanked Spodobalski over and over again for all of her support. Watch the video above to hear his touching speech.
4. Spodobalski Informed Some of Scott’s ESPN Colleagues That Scott Had Died
In an excellent piece detailing ESPN’s handling of Scott’s death, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported Sunday that Spodobalski informed some of Scott’s colleagues that the ESPN icon had died.
From Deitsch’s column:
The Scott family asked ESPN to hold the piece until 9:45 a.m. ET so relatives, friends and loved ones could be informed it was running. ESPN, in my reporting experience, has always been an exceptionally good employer when illness hits one of their own and this was another example. Scott is survived by his two daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; and his three siblings Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney, Susan Scott and their families. Scott’s companion, Kristin Spodobalski, informed close ESPN colleagues early this morning that Scott had passed away.
5. Scott Was Married for 14 Years to Kimberly Scott
Scott also spent plenty of time during his speech talking about his two daughters, Taelor and Sydni, whom he had with his ex-wife, Kimberly Scott. According to court documents, the two divorced in 2007 after 14 years of marriage.
The below photo includes a Scott, Kim, Spodobalski and both daughters.