LOWER LAKE (CBS SF) — The armourer for the medal-winning U.S. Olympic fencing team returned to his newly purchased home in Lake County this week to find it had been consumed in the Clayton Fire.
According to a press release, Matthew Porter has worked as armourer for the U.S. fencing team for three Olympic Games including Rio. He returned home from Rio to Lower Lake this week after learning that he and his wife Karen had lost their house and business in the Lake County fire that started last weekend.READ MORE: 49ers Win Wild Card 23-17 as Time Runs Out for Cowboys in Frantic Finish
The couple had bought the home and property in cash and relocated to Lower Lake just days before Porter left to work with the fencing team in Brazil. His wife Karen managed to save their dogs, but little else. The couple had previously lived in Pacifica for many years.
Porter was responsible for providing and maintaining all of the equipment during the team’s successful run at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 2 Injured in Sonoma County Crash on Route 116
“Matthew made sure our weapons were in absolutely top shape and was critical in making sure that we did not miss a single point due to our equipment,” said Greg Massialas, head coach of the U.S. Olympic men’s foil team. “It is a shame that after he spent so much of his time making sure Team USA had the opportunities for success, he lost everything.”
Alexander Massialas won the silver medal in individual men’s foil, while Daryl Homer won the silver in individual men’s saber. The men’s foil and women’s saber teams each took home bronze medals.
In addition, women’s saber team member Ibtihaj Muhammed attracted global attention for being the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab.MORE NEWS: French Bulldog Stolen at Gunpoint During Castro Valley Armed Robbery
Longtime friends of Matthew have set up a GoFundMe page to help the Porters. The page has already raised almost $9,000 towards a goal of $100,000 in the space of only a few hours on Thursday.