Lowcountry-born Olympic shot put silver medalist Raven Saunders’ mother dies

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:31 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Burke High School alum Raven Saunders just won a silver medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but days later her mother has been reported dead.

Raven’s mother, Clarissa Saunders’ death was confirmed by Raven’s longtime coach.

The coach said the elder Saunders was in Florida with Raven’s sister Tanzania. The coach says that is where the USATF brought them for Olympic Family watch parties.

Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying “Sandy and I are heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of Clarissa Saunders, beloved mother to Raven Saunders and a cherished member of the Charleston community. She was Raven’s strongest supporter, and joined us just this past Friday to cheer her daughter on as she qualified for the Olympic shot put finals. On behalf of the citizens of Charleston, we pray for Raven and her family, and join them in grieving this unimaginable loss.”

The USA Track and Field association also making a statement saying “The USOPC & USATF would like to offer Raven our most sincere condolences. Her mother leaves behind an incredible legacy in her daughter for who we are so proud and grateful to call our teammate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saunders family during this difficult time.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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