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Melvindale Family Cheers On Olympic Speed Skater From Sochi Sidelines

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The Smith family (from left) Rick, Olympic speed-skater Jessica, Reina and Travis relax in a lounge at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Credit: Rick Smith)

The Smith family (from left) Rick, Olympic speed-skater Jessica, Reina and Travis relax in a lounge at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Credit: Rick Smith)

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MELVINDALE (WWJ) - A family from Melvindale wants to thank everyone in Metro Detroit for helping them get to Sochi to cheer on their Olympic speed skater.

Michigan native Jessica Smith, 30, is competing in the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meter Short-track speed-skating events during the Winter Olympics.

Rick Smith, Jessica’s father, along with his wife Reina and their son Travis, were worried that they were going to be left out of Jessica’s dream because they couldn’t afford to make the $40,000 trip to Russia. A typical middle-class family, Rick is a truck driver and Reina cuts hair, the Smiths did everying they could just to make sure Jessica got to the Olympics.

Community members rallied together and held fundraisers in hopes the Smith family could be together for this life-changing event. And Rick Smith said he will be forever grateful because it actually worked! He said enough funds were raised that the whole family is now able to cheer Jessica on, right from the Sochi sidelines.

Rick Smith said he couldn't be more proud of his Olympian daughter, Jessica. (Credit: Rick Smith)

Rick Smith said he couldn’t be more proud of his Olympian daughter, Jessica. (Credit: Rick Smith)

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