Well-wishers welcome Lowcountry Olympian Raven Saunders home
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One week after Charleston native Raven Saunders won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, a group of dozens of well-wishers welcomed her home Saturday afternoon at the Charleston International Airport.
The shot putter took second place on the world stage last weekend as people cheered her on from Charleston and beyond. Days later, the Saunders family suffered heartbreak when the Olympian’s mother Clarissa died in Florida where she had been attending a watch party.
While the loss is difficult, Saunders, a Burke High School graduate, told the gathered crowd she’s grateful to have the support of the Charleston community and to see so many people turn out for her.
“It felt amazing, because for me, like I said, even when it comes to my mind, when something negative happens, I try to drown it out with a lot of love and affirmations, and really I feel like my city has shown me that,” she said.
Lesley Fox, one of the people who went to the airport to welcome Saunders home, said she had never met – or even heard of – the Olympian before this year’s games but felt compelled to attend “to show her that she’s loved by somebody that doesn’t even know her.” Fox said she is organizing a fundraiser to help the Saunders family with any funeral expenses.
Saunders said her focus now is on giving her mom “the greatest homegoing service that she could ask for,” and she gave the community a task.
“I want everybody today to make sure you check in on your loved ones, make sure you’re checking on them mentally, make sure you’re checking on them physically,” she said.
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