ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (WCCO) — When you have thousands in your fan club, what’s one more? To the only man from Minnesota competing in the Olympics, that one more might just be what he needed to bring home the gold.
WCCO-TV talked with the St. Michael family that calls the Olympian their son and shares the special story behind Chas Betts’ fan club.
Not only can you feel these parents pride for having an Olympian for a son, you can also see it from a block away. Their house is adorned in red, white, and blue.
“It’s our vacations, it’s our travel, it’s what we do,” said the athlete’s father Pete Betts.
The Betts family’s dedication to wrestling elevated Chas to a high school state championship and seven dedicated years at elite Olympic training centers.
On April 21, Betts qualified in the Olympic team trials for a chance to compete in London’s Greco Roman Wrestling Competition. In Greco Roman wrestling, athletes are limited strictly to upper body movement.
Pete and Pam say they’ve freeze-framed the moment when they could see their son’s face at the opening ceremonies more times than they can count. Little did they know, it wasn’t the only video they’d be watching on repeat.
In order to help send the entire family to London, the Betts have been selling T-shirts designed by Chas. About a month ago, Pete was e-mailed a video of an 8-year-old boy who was recently released from an Iowa hospital after struggling with a brain aneurysm. In the video, you could see the little boy’s brother, right next to him, wearing a Chas Betts T-shirt.
“That was very special. There he is wearing my sons T-shirts, that little guy with all his struggles,” said mother Pam Betts.
“Chas saw it and thought, ‘Well we got to do something extra for them,'” Pete Betts said.
So he sent the little guy a signed poster and some more T-shirts to add to the collection.
The Olympic athlete’s parents say they are happy to add one more to their son’s fan club, and they say learning of his supports has given Betts one more reason to go for the gold.
You can catch the competition on Aug. 6 beginning at 7 a.m.