MOUNT PLEASANT (WCBD) – Olympian Raven Saunders paid homage to her hometown, Charleston, after bringing home a silver medal during the Summer Games in Tokyo.
“You know, I have the strength to be able to get it done, but also being able to rely on so many other people to be strong for me is really the beauty in it all,” said Saunders, but the moment was bittersweet.
Raven’s number one fan, her mother, Clarissa Saunders, died in Orlando just days after attending a watch party for her daughter.
“I really want to keep inspiring and motivating people,” said Saunders after returning to Charleston.
Taking care of her mental health first, Saunders now carries the legacy of her mother as her most prized possession.
“Despite everything, you can always, always, always keep fighting, you can keep pushing, you can keep striving, you can keep surviving,” said Saunders.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn earned a gold medal in the Women’s 100-meter hurdles, but her family says the journey to Tokyo wasn’t easy.
“I know time she was talking about quitting and wanting to give it up because I guess of what happened at Rio, but she hung in there,” said her father, James Quinn.
Now Camacho-Quinn is putting the past behind her leaving her family… “overwhelmed, I’m lost for words, I’m lost. I’m lost. I am lost for words,” said her parents, James, and Maria Quinn and it’s the locals that have watched these athletes grow that has made their journey so special.
John Pearson coached basketball star Khris Middleton at Porter-Gaud before he became a two-time NBA All-Star, NBA Champion, and now an Olympic gold medalist for Team USA on the Men’s basketball team.
“What you see now is exactly what he was then. At a young age, he never was a follow the crowd guy. He did what we wanted to do,” said Coach Pearson.
Lowcountry athletes made big moves during the Summer Games, putting them on the big stage.
“Having an opportunity to represent your country. I think Khris values that in a tremendous way,” said Coach Pearson.