Wieber's Grandma Proud, DeWitt Support Still Strong After Elimination

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

She's known as her No. 1 fan: Jordyn's grandma, Emiline Reifsnyder.

She followed her granddaughter to San Jose for the Olympic Trials, and now she wishes more than ever she could be in London by Jordyn's side.

"To see her just like a waterfall, burst into tears like that was heart-wrenching," Reifsnyder said. "You wanted to be there."

Jordyn's grandparents watched from home Sunday as she finished third, leaving her out of the race for the individual gold and alone heading back to Olympic Village.

"I can't imagine how she endures that, and how she can handle it," Reifsnyder said. "We're just totally amazed at her determination and her staying power. You know, she's a tough lil' gal."

That's exactly the word on the street in DeWitt.

"She'll get through it, she's a tough kid," said Jim Archer as he sat outside the Barber shop on Main Street.

Some of the signs are faded in town, and some residents have even changed them from "Jo, Go for Gold!" to "Jo, We're So Proud!" But the support in her hometown hasn't changed one bit.

"The support from the DeWitt community was never about winning or losing," said Don Carlock. "It was about, here's a young lady from our community who we are very very proud of, who represents all that is right with America."

Carlock has been selling "Wieber Fever" t-shirts to help the family with their London expenses. The Lyons Club and St. Jude's Church are also helping out, as are volunteers from the community. They've already raised over $5,000 for the family, and sales are still going strong. They'll be open through next Saturday.

"Nothing's changed as far we're concerned," Carlock said. "She's still number one."

Some other DeWitt residents even had some choice words for the judges in London. Many felt she was "gypped." Jordyn's grandma isn't concerned with that though.

"Look what she's done, and they can't take that away from her," Reifsnyder said. "As Jordyn says, it is what it is."

Reifsnyder said she's going to make anything Jordyn wants when she gets back, which will probably be a meal of applesauce and cabbage rolls.

DeWitt has already named Jordyn the Grand Marshall of their parade later this month.

Wieber still has a chance to help her team capture a gold medal Tuesday. It would be the first since the "Magnificent 7" in the 1996 Atlanta games.


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