Yolanda Barral, a single mom of three, spent her entire savings–a $500 tax return–to see her son wrestle in the Olympic Trials in Iowa City. When her son Ellis Coleman made the team, the joy was slightly dampened by the knowledge that she didn’t have nearly the money to fly to London to watch him compete. Ellis, 20, is one of two U.S. Olympic athletes with the nickname “The Flying Squirrel.” (The other is 16-year-old gymnastics superstar Gabby Douglas.) The nickname comes from his YouTube-famous take-down moves.
Each wrestler receives two free tickets to the events in which they are slated to compete. But the trip over, and a place to stay, would run close to $5,000, Ms. Barral estimated. That amount was far out of reach for the Oak Park, Ill. mom who answers customer service calls for the Illinois Tollway for a living.
“I tried to accept it,” Ms. Barral told The Chicago Tribune, “But it was devastating.”
Enter Ellis’ high school wrestling coach.
“She needs to be there (in London),” said Mike Powell, coach of Oak Park High School’s wrestling squad, which Ellis helped win the 2009 state championships. “And Ellis needs her there.”
Oak Park High School’s wrestling program collected more than $14,000 at a fundraising event, which will allow not just for Ms. Barral to attend, but for her two other children and her sister to be there when Ellis steps onto the Olympic mat in London.
But even before the fundraising event, Mr. Powell had decided that Ms. Barral was going to London, regardless of how much money was collected. He had witnessed first-hand the sacrifices the single mom had made over the years. With little money and no support from their father, Ms. Barral got her three children out of their gang-infested West Side neighborhood, and moved them to Oak Park in the hopes of giving them a better, safer life.
Wrestler Ellis Coleman says he is "blessed" with a little bit of luck and a lot of sacrifice from his family.
Like many Olympians in low-profile events, Ellis has no major sponsors. He lives in a dormitory room at the U.S. Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, where he is given three meals a day at no cost. With no free time outside of training to work a job, he gets by on a small monthly stipend from the U.S. Olympic Committee that covers his cellphone bill and a few late-night pizza deliveries.
“I’m proud of him for who he is,” Coach Powell told CBS News. “He’s the hardest-working kid I’ve ever coached,” the proud coach said of the youngest member of the U.S. wrestling delegation.
Best wishes to all the families struggling to piece things together, out of the kindness of strangers, ex-coaches and former teammates, to be able to see their loved ones compete!
(via The Chicago Tribune)
(Screencaps: CBS News)
The Force Is Strong With This One: Anakin, The Adorable Two-Legged Kitten
10 Car Decals That Are Infinitely More Awesome Than Stick Figure Families
In Their Own Words: Adults on the Autism Spectrum Speak Out About Bleach ‘Treatment’
Read more from source:“www.babble.com”
Incoming search terms:mother receives community funds to attend son\s wrestling, team usa wrestling 2012 ellis coleman, mom son blog, ellis high school, olympian high school
high school coach community rally to send olympian wrestlers mom to london
And here is for the eye:Images from around the web about high school coach community rally to send olympian wrestlers mom to london, hope you like them. Keywords: high school coach community rally to send olympian wrestlers mom to london .