Olympian Raven Saunders' Mother Dies Days After the Shot Putter Wins Silver in Tokyo

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Raven Saunders
Raven Saunders

Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images Raven Saunders

Olympian Raven Saunders shared Tuesday that her mother Clarissa has died, just days after the athlete won silver in the women's shot put at the Tokyo Olympics.

Writing on Twitter, Saunders shared the news and said that she would take time away from social media as she deals with her mother's death.

"Hoping off social media for a while to take care of my mental [health] and my family," the 25-year-old two-time Olympian wrote. "My mama was a great woman and will forever live through me. My number one guardian angel 🙏🏾 I will always and forever love you."

Clarissa passed away in Orlando, Florida, according to WCBD-TV, where she had attended a watch party for her daughter on Friday.

In an interview with the station before Raven's event, Clarissa said that not being in Tokyo to see her compete in person was a "bummer," but she was excited to cheer her daughter on.

"We're cheering her from here, so hopefully she knows we're here cheering for her," Clarissa said. "So she'll do good, I'm pretty sure she'll do good."

Raven, who had gone viral earlier last week for her Joker-inspired mask, earned silver that day with a best distance of 19.79, behind China's Gong Lijiao.

"I like to say I don't want anything easy. I never want anything easy, because I know that in life, you know, it's going to be a dog fight out there," she told PEOPLE as she spoke with reporters after competing.

Raven is still in Tokyo and working on coming home early, WCBD-TV reported.

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In a statement posted to Twitter, USA Track & Field shared their support for Raven.

"The USOPC & USATF would like to offer Raven our most sincere condolences. Her mother leaves behind an incredible legacy in her daughter for who we are so proud and grateful to call our teammate," they said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Saunders family during this difficult time."

Raven's hometown mayor, John Tecklenburg of Charleston, South Carolina, also gave his condolences.

"She was Raven's strongest supporter," Tecklenburgh told WCBD-TV. "On behalf of the citizens of Charleston, we pray for Raven and her family, and join them in grieving this unimaginable loss."