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.