Emily Scott

Skater who filed for food stamps gets ‘astonishing’ donations

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U.S. short track speedskater Emily Scott received more than $30,000 in donations in less than 24 hours after a USA Today story profiling the financial struggles of her and other Olympic hopefuls was published.

Scott’s donations page on gofundme.com, as of Wednesday morning, reflected more than double her stated goal of $15,000. In USA Today, Scott, 24, tearfully discussed her application for food stamps after her monthly stipend was cut from $1,950 to $600.

Scott, who has a part-time job at a surgical supply factory in Utah, thanked the helpers in an update Wednesday.

“It’s so amazing,” Scott said Tuesday night. “Strangers who don’t even know me. I’ve written back to everyone who’s donated trying to express my gratitude but I don’t think I can say thank you enough. It’s crazy.

“It’s astonishing that people care that much. I thought my own governing body didn’t’ believe in me and for these strangers to believe in me, it felt really good.”

When she learned about the outpouring after practice, she immediately called her dad, Craig, who raised his daughters as a single dad. “I cried to him. The whole time he’s been telling me everything will work out. He said, ‘I told you to keep believing.'”

Scott finished second in the overall at the U.S. short track championships in December and is a favorite to make the Sochi Olympic team at the Olympic trials in January.

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Blind Paralympic champion Brad Snyder throws ceremonial first pitch (video)

Brad Snyder
Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles
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Brad Snyder, who took home three swimming gold medals from the Rio Paralympic Games, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles game on Sunday.

Snyder, who lost his vision while serving in the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan by stepping on an improvised explosive device, is a native of Baltimore.

He pitched alongside fellow Paralympic swimmer McKenzie Coan, who also claimed three gold medals in Rio.

The Orioles honored two more Paralympians, track and field sisters Hannah and Tatyana McFadden, before Saturday’s game.

Tatyana won six medals in Rio, which tied her with swimmer Jessica Long for the most for a U.S. athlete.

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High school gym named after Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs

US' Jordan Ernest Burroughs celebrates a
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The gymnasium at Winslow Township (N.J.) High School was renamed Jordan Burroughs Gymnasium on Saturday in honor of the 2012 Olympic wrestling champion.

“I just want people to recognize it’s possible,” Burroughs said to the Courier-Post. “It takes focus, dedication and really, discipline, to get to this high level of success. But like, I did it. From here. These same teachers, these same facilities, this same community. It’s possible. I want people to recognize that.”

Burroughs was a state champion in 2006 at Winslow Township High School. Six years later, he claimed an Olympic gold medal in the men’s freestyle wrestling 74kg division.

In Rio, he lost his quarterfinal match to Russia’s Aniuar Geduev, who went on to earn the silver medal. After the match, an emotional Burroughs referred to the loss as the “hardest day of my life.”

MORE: Jordan Burroughs will not repeat gold after loss to Russia’s Geduev