WMBD/WYZZ-TV - BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- When Bloomington High School grad Christin Wurth-Thomas made the U.S. Olympic team four years ago, her parents were ecstatic.
And then worried. How could they get from Bloomington, Illinois to China?
"We didn't think we could go to Beijing because it would be a really big expense," said Christin's mother Judy.
But central Illinois rallied to send the Wurth's to 2008 Summer Games. There were T-shirt fundraisers in the community and a special note with a donation from a co-worker of Christin's father Mike.
"We couldn't thank her enough because she was responsible for us deciding to go. That note and letter spoke to us and told us we were supposed to be there, Judy Wurth said. "People have no idea how much that meant to us. Everyone that donated money for a shirt or contributed money. We couldn't have gone without that.
Wurth-Thomas didn't bring back a medal in the 1500 meters. But she returned to the U.S. with a lifetime of memories.
"It inspires you just being able to watch it on TV. But when you've actually been there, it becomes personal," said Judy Wurth. "We realized if we missed that, it would've been a huge hole in our lives that I don't think anything will stop us from thinking about how far can you realy go to be there with your family."