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Mother of Olympic Silver Medalist Raven Saunders Dies

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Clarissa Saunders, the mother of Olympic shot-put silver medalist Raven Saunders, died on Tuesday, Raven confirmed on social media.

According to the Charleston Post and CourierClarissa Saunders died in Orlando, where she was attending Tokyo 2020 watch parties for the families of Team USA athletes. Raven won the silver medal in shot put on Sunday.

She was in attendance with her second daughter, Tanzania, Johnson said. No cause of death was disclosed. 

Raven took to Twitter on Tuesday morning, writing, "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."

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USA Track and Field and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee issued a joint statement Tuesday, offering condolences to Raven and her family on Tuesday.

"Her mother leaves behind an incredible legacy in her daughter for who we are so proud and grateful to call our teammate," they wrote. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saunders family during this difficult time."

After Saunders took home the silver, she was seen on the Olympic stand with her arms raised and crossed to form an "X." When asked what it meant she responded, “It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.”

"Shout out to all my Black people. Shout out to all my LGBTQ community," Saunders later said, according to NBC News. "Shout out to all my people dealing with mental health."

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