The father of High Point Olympian Heather Richardson is on the way to Sochi after a group of Triad businessmen raised the money to send him after reading in a local newspaper that the dad would be home for the Winter Games.
Richardson is one of the top American hopes in Sochi and will compete in four events. Her mother and sister planned to go to the Games, but her father was going to stay behind because of the heavy cost of travel.
The Greensboro News & Record ran a story about the Richardson, and some local leaders jumped in to raise money to send Jeff Richardson to Sochi.
Ed Price, who is in real estate in High Point, told The News & Record that he and attorney Alan Duncan were part of the effort.
“I got a phone call from my good friend, Alan Duncan,” Price said. “He had read all about it in (The News & Record). He called me Sunday night and said, ‘We can't let that happen.' It got me motivated. We talked more Monday morning, and the whole thing came together in less than an hour.”
According to the newspaper, Jeff Richardson learned of the effort when he went to work Monday at Ilderton Dodge Conversion.
Pat Richardson, Jeff's wife, told the newspaper: “His boss-man called him into the office, and there were a couple other gentlemen in there, too,” Pat Richardson said. “Well, they had seen the Sunday paper, and they asked him straight out: ‘How much would it cost to get you to the Olympics?' Jeff told them it would be at least $6,000. They said, ‘You'll have your money this afternoon.' Jeff called me and said, ‘Oh my God, Ed Price and them just came up with the money to send me to Russia.'”
Jeff Richardson was scheduled to fly out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport Saturday.
Heather Richardson remains well-known in High Point. Pat Richardson works at a local cancer center and Heather often visits when she is home to speak with cancer patients and survivors.
Heather Richardson has been active on Twitter and tweeted Sunday morning, “I see my family and friends tomorrow. I am so happy to have them here to support me :)”