It looked like it was going to be one of the worst weeks in Tamara Gorman's life, but then friends and family restored her belief in people.
Gorman, a Rapid City native, competes in triathlons around the world. She is currently in Colorado Springs, Colo., training when last Saturday, her car was broken into.
Not only were her identification cards stolen, but her bike, wet suit and other items were taken from the car totaling $17,000.
"I woke up and I went out to my car to do a hard swim workout and meet up with some of my friends. I went outside and I looked into the car and it was completely cleared, everything was gone," she said. "I kind of went into panic mode because that’s my entire life. I couldn’t even wrap my mind around the situation."
Gorman attended Rapid City Stevens and the University of Minnesota before becoming a professional triathlete. She said she turned to her South Dakota roots to try to find a way to get some of her money back.
"I knew I was waking up early and going to the pool, and being from small-town Rapid City, living out in the Hills, I didn’t think of grabbing my bike out of my car because I knew I’d be using it the next morning," she said. "It just makes you realize."
Gorman trains with some Team USA members in Colorado and one of the managers for the team suggested a Go Fund Me page to try to raise money to replace what was stolen.
It wouldn't be easy, the bike alone was going to cost $10,000 to replace. One of Gorman's sponsors agreed to pay 20 percent of the costs for the new bike, but the rest she would be responsible for.
Through the page, Gorman has raised roughly $2,500 and has been able to replace her bicycle.
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"This is a huge investment, it’s a dream and that’s why I invest in myself," she said. "I just feel so thankful to have such caring people in the world. I personally don’t want to take money from people but it’s what it came down to for me. I’m so grateful that people are able to be giving, and that’s really what life is all about."
She was also able to get new sunglasses from a sponsor, as well as a helmet and wetsuit. She admitted that triathlon is an expensive sport, and although she didn't want to ask for people's money, she said it showed how big people's hearts can be.
"When you invest in someone else or yourself, I feel like it makes you feel that much better as a human being," she said. "I hope to do the same through triathlon"
One of the biggest things stolen in Colorado was her identification cards. Gorman was set to travel to China over the weekend to race in a World Cup race.
She didn't have the funds or equipment to go to that race, but will be racing Monday in Yokahama.
Part of how she was able to do that was because of South Dakota Senator John Thune, who expedited the process of her getting a new passport, which was also stolen.
She said she was expecting to wait up to three weeks to get her new passport, but she said with the help of Thune it only took a couple of hours.
"He was able to contact the passport agency and help me out with not having the proper identification because it was all stolen," Gorman said of Thune's office. "I was able to get my passport in less than two hours."