Olympian Raven Saunders’ mother dies after silver medal
Clarissa Saunders, the mother of American athletics star Raven Saunders, has died just days after her daughter won her first Olympic medal.
The oldest Saunders died in Orlando, Florida, according to a report released Tuesday by NBC affiliate WCBD-TV in Saunders hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. Saunders was in Orlando to attend a viewing party to see his 25-year-old daughter compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
Raven Saunders won a silver medal for Team United States in the women’s shot put final in Tokyo on Sunday.
The popular athlete confirmed the death of his mother in a tweet Tuesday, writing: “I hope to quit social media for a while to take care of my mind and my family. My mom was a wonderful woman and will live through me forever. My number one guardian angel 🙏🏾 I t will love always and forever. “
The cause of death has not been announced.
Saunders’ agent said TODAY in a statement: “Clarissa’s sudden death was a shock to everyone. I am like everyone who is still waiting for more details. I hope to receive further information from Raven an once she arrives in Orlando. I’m trying to get some answers as to what happened because all we know is that she was in Orlando with her family for the nights before that had been organized for these Olympic Games. “
USA Track & Field, along with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, shared a social media message in support of Saunders and his family.
“The USOPC and USATF would like to offer Raven our deepest condolences. Her mother leaves an incredible legacy to her daughter for whom we are so proud and grateful to call our teammate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saunders family throughout. this difficult period time, “the organization tweeted.
In honor of Mother’s Day last May, Saunders shared an Instagram video of herself in the car with her mother. A second video in her article showed her mother singing on her birthday.
In his heartfelt caption, Saunders thanked his mother for teaching him strength and resilience.
“You showed me what strength is and for that I can overcome anything. You showed me relentlessness and for that I learned determination. You gave me life and showed me love and for that I owe you everything, ”Saunders wrote.
“Happy Mother’s Day to the number one woman in my life. I love you and thank you for being a great mom !!!!” she added.