Thirty athletes with Seattle ties have made it into the 2012 London Olympics. Among them is Auburn’s Ariana Kukors, who is on the U.S. women’s swim team. But like many middle class families of Olympic athletes, her folks are treading water trying to get to the games.
Ariana's 16 years of work paid off when she touched the wall at the Olympic trials last week. Her ticket to London was punched and all expenses were paid, but not for the rest of her family.
"Now it's our turn to save for food, flights, hotel, tickets to the events," said Emily Kukors, Ariana's sister.
Every free moment at work is now spent planning logistics and economics. Flights to London for Emily, her sister and her parents are running around $1,200 each.
"Now we're in this crunch time where prices are literally going up by the hour," said Emily.
Hotels cost at least $300 a night, and the family only gets two tickets to each of Ariana's events, so they have to scramble for those as well. The question for an Olympic medal is costing quite a bit of coin.
"I would say 8 to 10 grand plus," she said.
The family is hoping the community can help through fundraisers, but at every turn is another expense. But given all Ariana has put into her dream, no amount of money will stand in the way of big sister and the rest of the family watching her make it come true.
"Our entire family is just so excited to continue this journey with her and see what she's able to do in London, so we're excited," said Emily.
A fundraiser for the Kukors family was being held Friday night at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. If you would like to purchase t-shirts to support their fundraising cause, email email@example.com.
Reported by KING 5's Eric Wilkinson and compiled by Liza Javier.