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Community rallies to send mom & son to Rio to see daughter run in the Olympics
People from all over the country have come together to make a mother’s dream of seeing her daughter compete in the Olympics come true.
Last month, Euna Washington was overwhelmed with joy when her 19-year-old daughter Ariana qualified for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic Track and Field team.
Since Ariana was out last year with a broken foot, her qualification for the national team came a surprise and her single mother found herself in a tough position raising enough money for a last-minute plane ticket to Rio.
So family friend Clara Randolph stepped in and started a Go Fund Me page to raise enough money to send both Euna and her son Gabe, who has cerebral palsy, to the Olympics.
As of Friday, that fund had overreached it’s goal of $8,000 by several hundred dollars. Daily Mail Online reached out to Randolph on Friday to see if they had bought the tickets yet, but did not immediately receive a response.
‘We just didn’t expect her to make it this year, so it’s come as a surprise,’ Euna told the Press-Telegram. ‘Everyone has been so generous, we’re really overwhelmed by it.’
One of the largest donors to the fun was the Long Beach Century Club, which pitched in $1,100.
‘This is what the Century Club does, we support amateur athletes,’ club president Keith Hansen said. ‘It was a special thing for Euna to come and tell us her story and I’m glad our members reached into their pockets when we passed the hat for her.’
Ariana Washington, a rising sophomore at the University of Oregon, is set to compete in the 4×100 relay on August 18. If her team performs well, they will run again in the final on August 19.
In the past two months, her mother, a nurse at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in southern California, has traveled to Oregon to see her daughter compete in both the NCAA Track and Field Championships and the Olympic Trials.
Ariana won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the NCAA competition, and was a finalist at the Trials. She learned shortly after wrapping up her 200-meter race that she had secured a spot on the 4×100 relay for Rio.