‘So emotional’: Tampa Bay families watch from afar as their loved ones compete for Olympic medals

Tokyo 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Tampa Bay families are celebrating Olympic accomplishments Sunday night.

Anastasija Zolotic from Largo is now the first American woman to ever win gold in Taekwondo.

Mary Tucker from Sarasota is in Tokyo competing in three shooting events.

Their families are in Orlando at a resort set up for the loved ones of U.S. Olympic athletes to allow them to watch the competitions as they happen.

Dragana Zolotic watched every moment of her daughter’s gold medal match.

“It was so stressful, exciting, so emotional, it’s very hard to explain,” Zolotic said.

Her thoughts were what any parent would think of as their child competes in any athletic competition.

“A million things going through my head. Is she going to get hurt? How is she going to take it if it goes one way or the other,” she said.

As she watched the match, the families of other U.S.A athletes were there with her.

“We cried, we screamed, we cheered, we were celebrating so loud and it was so early we were like, we should keep it down, somebody is going to call the police on us,” she said.

Jennifer Tucker-Mogensen is also watching her daughter compete.

Mary Tucker is one of the youngest members on Team USA, and she’s already making a name for herself. At age 20, Tucker is the top-ranked female shooter in the country and No. 2 in the world. She is also one of only two members on Team USA that are competing in multiple events. Tucker will be shooting in the women’s air rifle, mixed team air rifle, and women’s smallbore.

Her mother is watching every one of her shots.

“I try to think about what she is thinking about. I try to think how is she feeling right now, is she good, is she calm,” said Tucker-Mogensen.

Of course she would rather be in Tokyo with her daughter. The family had planned to go, then the pandemic hit. However, she is enjoying watching her daughter compete alongside other Olympic families.

“I have never watched my daughter shoot in a venue like this. It’s always been at my home, on my computer screen with my husband and our son and my dog,” said Tucker-Mogensen.

She’s hoping her daughter’s efforts will bring new attention to her sport.

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