GoFundMe helps families of Olympians attend games | #NBC16Rio
EUGENE, Ore. - When athletes make the Olympic team, all of their expenses to Rio are covered.
That includes travel, meals, and housing.
"We support their coaches as well to be credentialed and to head to the Olympic games as well, so it's a pretty robust system," said USA Track and Field Spokeswoman Jill Geer.
For the first time, USA Track and Field awarded athletes with something special.
"If you make the Olympic team, USATF will give each athlete a payment of $10,000, regardless of which event they are in or what place they took at the Olympic trials," said Geer.
For these athletes, any cash benefit helps.
But what's not covered is the support for family members who also want to share the Olympic experience.
That's the case for Joey Knudson, mother of Duck football and track and field star Devon Allen, who qualified to compete in the hurdles by winning the event at the USA Track and Field trials at Hayward Field last month.
"It's a lifelong dream of his and you know we have just been trying to support him as much as possible," said Knudson.
That support has been pricey.
To stay in Rio for 3 nights, expenses for Knudson and her daughter Carissa added up quickly.
"You know I didn't ever think that the tickets would be so expensive, but you know to get a good ticket, a good seat to see the event it was about $275," said Knudson.
Fortunately, her goal of $8,000 on GoFundMe was achieved.
"I'm hoping that we will have enough, but I have had some friends and family members that have done some additional donations which is wonderful," she said.
But for Knudson, her son's wish is priceless.
"The only request that he has of me was to just make sure that I was there for him. He told me just be in Rio for me mom and you pretty much have to do what you can do."
Devon Allen's mother Joey Knudson said she is heading to Rio Saturday. Allen's father Louis Allen Jr. also had a GoFundMe account and made his goal as well.
Devon Allen is scheduled to compete Monday, August 15, in the first round of the 110m hurdles at 4:40 p.m.
Semifinals are Tuesday, August 16, at 4:40 p.m. The finals are the same day at 6:45 p.m.