Best Local Athlete
Raven Saunders

Raven Saunders had played the bass drum for two years in the Burke High School Marching Band when its director Linard McCloud kicked her off the band. He stressed that she should instead spend more time with the school’s track and field team.

“A lot of kids at Burke had many different talents, but track and field just proved to be the one for me,” Saunders said with a laugh. “A lot of people noticed that about me and tried to push me to be the best I could be.” 

As a rising junior in 2012, Saunders spent more time honing her track-and-field skills. It paid off. She won the silver medal in the women’s discus throw at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

In the meantime, McCloud claims a piece of Saunders’ silver medal as his own. She even let him hang the medal around his neck.

Saunders is eyeing the 2022 World Athletics Championships this summer in Oregon and the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. She’s a Charleston hero who’s also admired by City Paper readers. She said the Best of Charleston honor is special. “When I [compete] I try to do the best for Charleston to bring awareness to the City of Charleston.”

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