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Silver for Saunders in Tokyo

Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2021 at 11:50 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Burke High School alum Raven Sauders won the silver medal in the shot put on Saturday night.

Saunders’ throw of 19.79 meters was enough to bring home the silver medal.

The city of Charleston held a watch party Saturday night to cheer and support Raven Saunders as she competed in the shot put finals in Tokyo.

Around 50 members of the community – including some of Saunders’ family members – watched her go for gold tonight from the Arthur Christopher Community Center just across the street from Burke High School where she got her start.

Among them were her cousins Diametra and Nieisia Saunders and her aunt Tonetta Coleman.

Diametra Saunders said it was exciting to watch her cousin alongside dozens of fellow Charlestonians.

“We love her, we support her to the fullest from day one. To the fullest we support her,” she said.

“She did an amazing job, and I’m a proud cousin,” Nieisia Saunders added, tearing up.

Coleman said the whole Lowcountry is proud of her niece.

“She did a wonderful job, she excelled, she put forth her best effort,” Coleman said. “That’s all we could ask, and we are so proud of her and can’t wait for her to come home.”

Members of Olympian and Charleston native Raven Saunders’ family celebrate after Saunders...
Members of Olympian and Charleston native Raven Saunders’ family celebrate after Saunders earned a silver medal in women’s shot put at the Tokyo Olympics on July 31, 2021.(Live 5)

Mayor John Tecklenburg says Saunders is a true inspiration to people not just in Charleston but across the Lowcountry and that her triumphs over adversity and reaching the highest performance level in the world sends a powerful message to other young people.

“Follow your dreams. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it, and that’s exactly what Raven has done. She has shown that to the Lowcountry,” Tecklenburg said.

The mayor says whatever happens, the city will give Saunders a homecoming celebration fit for an Olympian when she returns.

Saunders graduated from Burke High School in 2014. Two years later, she competed in her first Olympic games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Saunders earned her spot in Saturday’s final by finishing first in her qualifying group with a throw of 19.22 meters.

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