Erin Hamlin’s run to the bronze medal in women’s luge – the first U.S. Olympic luge medal ever to come in singles competition – set off a celebration at the Sanki Sliding Center and also one in her hometown of Remsen, N.Y.
The 2009 world champion is the pride of the small Central New York town, so much so that she’s got an ice cream sundae named after her at a local shop (FYI: It’s vanilla ice cream, topped with Reese’s peanut butter cups, Oreos, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry).
They’ve supported her in victory and in defeat, too. After she endured a tough 16th-place finish four years ago in Vancouver, the town still threw a parade in her honor when she came back.
Last night, Remsen partied in the streets after Hamlin managed to grab the bronze. The Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch reports that a convoy of fire engines and packs of revelers marched down Main Street – albeit briefly, as outside temperatures were in single digits.
“We’re so proud of her,” local resident Tina Hughes said to the Observer-Dispatch when the parade was in full gear. “Anyone who lives here knows her.”
Prior to Hamlin’s bronze, all four of the previous U.S. Olympic luge medals had come in doubles competition.
Over on NBCOlympics.com, you can see how Hamlin prepared for her big run in Sochi in a behind-the-scenes feature. You can also catch her final two runs yesterday and a slideshow that looks through her career.