Lesbian Olympian Raven Saunders has been making plenty of headlines this week, first for her silver medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics in shot put, then again for raising her arms in the form of an X on the winners podium, representing “where all people who are oppressed meet,” as she explained. Now Saunders is in the news again, but this time it’s for a heartbreaking reason: Saunders shared on social media that her mother Clarissa Saunders has died.
“Hoping (sic) off social media for a while to take care of my mental and my family. My mama was a great woman and will forever live through me. My number one guardian angel I will always and forever love you,” Saunders wrote.
Saunders’s mother was in Tokyo to attend watch parties for the games alongside the other families of Team USA. It was there that she was able to witness her daughter medal in her event.
Her passing was confirmed by Saunders’s long-time coach, Herbert Johnson. “It’s just a terrible blow for Raven and her family,” Johnson told The Post and Courier. The cause of death is unknown.