Athletes families begging to get to Rio


August 05, 2016
Refugee Olympic Team swimmer Rami Anis dances with performers during a welcome ceremony at the Olympic athletes village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,yesterday.
Jamaica's athletes (from left) Annsert Whyte, Kali Davis-White, masseur Gavin James, Christine Day and Kaleise Spencer at the International Zone of the Athletes' Village in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil recently.
Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer It's relaxation time! Members of Jamaica's Rio Olympics contingent (from left) Aubrey Smith, throws coach Julian Robinson, hammer thrower Daina Levy, and discus throwers Tarasue Barnett and Kellion Knibb play dominoes in the Linx Hotel lobby in Rio de Janeiro Brazil recently.

Several athletes who made it to the Rio Olympics have embarked on begging campaigns in order to get family members to the South American city.

The athletes as well as their relatives have been using the crowd-funding platform, Go Fund Me, to raise thousands of US dollars.

In one case, relatives of a United States athlete Ashley Spencer launched an appeal to raise US$5,000 to get her mother to Rio. Some US$6,150 has so far been raised.

Spencer will represent her country in the 400m hurdles at the Olympics.

"The flights to Brazil alone are about US$1,300 per person," the Go Fund Me campaign, which was created on July 10, by sibling Ahlivia Spencer, said.

"The Lord helps those who help themselves and the Spencers are busy at work, labouring at multiple jobs. With your help, we can, at the very least, send my mother, Rita Spencer, to watch her youngest (prayfully) capture an Olympic medal," the post added.

Australian equestrian Sue Hearn, who launched a campaign in April to get to the Olympics with her horse, Remmington, has so far netted US$53,015 in sponsorship, but is far off the US$150,000 target she has set.

Hearn is making her Olympic debut, at age 60.

US shot putter Felisha Johnson has so far received pledges of US$2,093 in her quest to take the entire family to Rio.

"Please help the Johnson family make a dream come true by attending the Rio Olympics to watch Felisha compete in the shot put. Any donations would be appreciated in this cause," he campaign message said.

Johnson is seeking to raise US$10,000.

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