Making the Olympic team does not happen alone. Michelle Williams just qualified to swim for Canada at the Olympics this summer! Unfortunately, without help, her parents will not be able to go to Rio to watch her, because it is too expensive.
The cost of one flight to Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics for one traveller starts at around $1400 and only increases in price. On top of that, they would need help with accomodations as well.
William and Emsie have no idea that I have set up this fundraiser.
Here is an exert from a speech Michelle gave at an awards banquet, about how much her parents sacrificed so that she could be successful and accomplish her dream to be an Olympian. She would love to have her parents be able to share this experience with her.
"When I think about working hard without expecting any recognition in return, I think of my parents. They truly were the silent, behind the scenes warriors of my developmental years. First and foremost, they sacrificed everything to move to Canada, from South Africa. They left their jobs, friends, and all their family so that my brother, sister and I could have a safe life full of opportunity. It’s something I’ve never forgotten, and as I’ve gotten older, I appreciate and understand the magnitude of their sacrifice more and more. Being an immigrant family, we struggled for many years. My parents worked odd jobs here and there scrambling to get enough food on the table to feed two elite athletes and a teenage boy. For years, they spent their Saturdays working at NYAC’s charity Bingo, just to slowly chip away at my training fees. For years my dad would work 3 hours away, leaving on Monday morning and coming home on Friday night, only to wake up the next day and go to the NYAC bingo, or to spend all weekend timing a swim meet. All this was going on behind the scenes, so that my sister, brother and I could have a life of opportunity, a life with sport. This was just our normal. My parents never complained, rather, they expressed gratitude for their children’s health and abilities.
Speaking of the “silent behind the scenes warriors” I’ll give an example. For morning practices, I would wake up at 4:45 and get ready, and then just before 5 I would knock on my parents door, open it, and whisper “papa”, and he would JERK awake with a little snort. This memory is so clear in my head and makes me laugh. In the winter I would wait in the car while he scraped the ice off the windows. Then he would drive me to Douglas Snow, or Glendon.. Most mornings we wouldn’t say anything..nothing needed to be said. There was just a comforting, silent ride to the pool. During the time that he worked out of town my mom would take me to practice, with the same, quiet understanding. She would come get me after afternoon practice with a juice box and some fruit or crackers, always. This kind of simple support went a long way. This quiet understanding. I’m really glad my parents could be here tonight."