Valentines: Ritz & Lorraine (Waslin) Yap

Ritz Yap, GWSB BBA ’91, MBA ’91 & Lorraine (Waslin), GSEHD BS ’92, CCAS MA ’98

Lorraine & Ritz YapOnce the wrestling team finished practicing, the gymnastics team would take over the practice space in the Smith Center.

This setup was how Lorraine, a GW gymnast, met her husband, Ritz, a GW wrestler, in the fall of 1988. “We would also run into each other in the training room and in and around the Smith Center,” she says.

By Valentine’s Day of her freshman year, the two started dating – “and haven’t looked back since.”

For Lorraine and Ritz, their fondest memories of life at GW include biking to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, visiting the Lincoln Memorial late at night, attending the National Christmas tree lighting, and running on the National Mall.

“I will never forget ice skating on the Reflecting Pool or sledding down the hill of the Washington Monument, almost all the way to Constitution Avenue!” she says.

The two married in 1993, and their wedding party included Colonials from the men’s soccer, gymnastics, and swimming teams.

“I am sure it’s still the case now, but the student-athlete community at GW was very tight-knit,” she says. “Many of us had the same classes and had study hall together. All the student athletes — from the basketball players, to the soccer players to the swimmers — were close friends.”

Both hailed from New Jersey, and they both chose to study at GW for the same reasons: its academic reputation, location the nation’s capital, and the chance to be Division 1 student-athletes. (Unfortunately, GW cut the wrestling program after Ritz’s sophomore year.)

Today, the couple resides in New Jersey, where Lorraine is a senior speech-pathologist at the Hackensack University Medical Center, and Ritz is a managing director of a family-owned holding company. “We try stay up to date and active with alumni functions and contribute to the athletic program when we can,” she adds.

They have two daughters, Caitlin, 11, and Lindsay, 9, who are both competitive gymnasts.

“We spend much of our free time driving them to and from practice and attending their meets,” she says, adding that she and Ritz make it a point to bring their daughters to a gymnastics meet at the Smith Center at least once a year. “Both of our girls would love nothing more than to compete for GW’s gymnastics team someday.”

 

 

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