Olympic Star Raven Saunders Opens Up On What Her Mother Would Have Told Her Before Passing Away

Published 08/29/2021, 1:03 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s Shot Put – Qualification – OLS – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – July 30, 2021. Raven Saunders of the United States wears a face mask REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach


The Olympic silver medallist, Raven Saunders, shares what her mother would have said to her before she left the world.

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Raven Saunders is an American track and field athlete who competes in the shot put and discus throw. In her initial years, she was a world junior medalist in 2014 as well as the Pan American junior champion in 2015. She also won three NCAA collegiate titles in the shot put for the University of Mississippi. In the year 2016, at the Summer Games in Rio, she claimed the 5th position with a distance of 19.35 meters.

However, the American faced a downfall in her career by coming 10th in the World Championship in the year 2017 with a throw of 17.86. Recently, the 25-year-old bagged the second position at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, throwing a distance of 19.79 m. Although her personal best is 19.96m, she was far away from the gold medallist, LJ Gong, with a distance of 20.58 meters.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s Shot Put – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Silver medallist, Raven Saunders of the United States gestures on the podium REUTERS/Hannah Mckay SEARCH “OLYMPICS DAY 11” FOR TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS EDITOR’S CHOICE, SEARCH “REUTERS OLYMPICS TOPIX” FOR ALL EDITOR’S CHOICE PICTURES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Raven talks about her mother

Unfortunately, the Olympic star lost her mother. Since she has been an ardent advocate for mental health in her past, she decided to give herself a break. In one interview, she said that she will go off social media to focus on her family. Besides this, she also talked about what her mother would have said to her before dying.

She said, “For my mom, her main thing every time she would see me or right before a competition, she’d say ‘Kick ass.’ Every single time. That would be her last words before I would go out for any state championship, any national championship, any USAs or Olympics. Those would be her last words. And it was actually funny, a friend of mine and one of the clips that I did. He actually got a recording of my little sister stealing it from her while they were on the phone together. It was so nice.

Raven Saunders on being offline

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Wanting to focus more on her mental health and be emotionally available for her family, the American said, “I was surrounded by a lot of family. I really wanted to kind of focus on making sure my mom’s homegoing was nice. It was really more so Twitter that I wanted to take a step back from just because Twitter gets very vicious. I would still post updates and things to let certain people know how I was doing.”

“There would be moments where like on my close friends I’d I let my friends know, ‘Hey, I’m in this space like could you guys just pray for me’ and I’d do certain things like that because I find, we all try to be strong independently but I found different ways to be strong within my support system.” 

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Most certainly, it is a challenging time for the athlete. We hope and pray that Raven comes out of it stronger and better.

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Divya Chaturvedi

99 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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