These Parents Get to See Their Daughter Skate in the Olympics, Thanks to the Kindness of Strangers


Sugar Todd has been training as a speed skater since she was 8 years old, and fifteen years later, she landed a spot to on the US team headed for Sochi. Competing in the Olympics is every professional athlete's dream, but there was a chance that Todd's parents would not see her dream realized, as travel costs of attending the games in Russia are high.

That's when the Internet came in.

Sugar started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money so that her parents, Mike and Diana Todd, could see her compete in the games. The 23-year-old detailed all the ways her parents have sacrificed and supported her to get her to where she is today.

Not only did they spend exorbitant amounts of time and money for skating lessons, they allowed Sugar to move from the comfortable climate in Omaha, NE to the cold weather in Milwaukee so she could train at the Pettit National Ice Center. Mom Diana moved with her, while Mike, a firefighter, stayed behind to pay the bills.

"At that age, I didn't fully appreciate the sacrifices they were making so their little girl could maybe one day go to the Olympics," she writes on her campaign page. "My mom was incredibly homesick and she missed her family terribly. Every bone in her body hated the cold Wisconsin weather and the cold of the ice rink. My dad spent a significant amount of time away from my mom and I over all those years so that he could continue to pay the skating bills."

"After paying for fifteen years worth of coaching, skating equipment, travel to races, and entry fees for competitions; I promise you that every little bit helps them," she says.

It looks like the Todd family will be together in Sochi. In less than 24 hours, the page raised $5,000 to help pay for Mike and Diana's airfare, visas and accommodations. After raising $5,864, Sugar turned off the ability to donate, as they had more than surpassed their goal.

Sugar is elated that her parents can now see her realize her life's dream with their own eyes - "and even have a celebratory beer or two."

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