CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Two-time Olympian Raven Saunders brings home a silver medal from the 2020 Tokyo OLympics.
Friends, family, and supporters of Saunders gathered in downtown Charleston for a watch party. Loud cheers rang out across the room as she threw her final shot put in the games.
City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says it’s exciting to see the community come together to support one of their own.
“Whatever color medal she gets, we love her and she represents Charleston so well,” said Mayor Tecklenburg.
The hometown athlete and Burke High School graduate’s best throw was 19.79 meters, which is less than two-tenths of a meter under her qualifying throw.
Back in 2016 she placed fifth overall in the women’s shot put finals in Rio. Hard work and dedication prepared her for the final moment.
Saunders’ aunt, Tonetta Coleman says she’s proud of how far her niece has come. “Hard work pays off, when you show up and you do your best that’s all we ask of you,” said Coleman.
The Olympic Committee flew Saunders’ mother and sister to a special watch party for selected families in Orlando, Florida.
Saunders easily became a sensation and role model for younger athletes across the country, and most importantly, in her hometown.
According to Burke High School’s Principal, Cheryl Swinton, perseverance is key. Swinton says “her determination for excellence is just what we continue to instill in the students at Burke.”
In early July the city of Charleston voted to name the track at Stoney Field after Raven Saunders. Mayor Tecklenburg says a parade should follow.