Remsen roots on Olympic luger Erin Hamlin in Sochi debut


REMSEN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- America is rooting on all of its athletes in the 2014 Winter Olympics, but in Remsen the pride runs deeper.

"It's not some American stranger. This is our American sweetheart," said Greg Roos, former teacher of Olympic luger Erin Hamlin.

As the three-time Olympian hit the track in Sochi, teachers, students and employees from the high school where she graduated a decade ago congregated to cheer her on.

"We're really excited. There's a ton of people in here. We're all trying to watch her," said eighth grader, Jeffrey Klossner.

For Erin's former teacher who has known her since the day she was born, the moment was almost overwhelming.

"I've been on the mountain with her many a time watching her race and just praying and praying and praying. It's amazing to watch, amazing to watch," said Roos.

Even for those who don't know Erin personally, the success of this hometown hero is leaving a mark.

"It's pretty inspirational 'cause I'm an athlete myself like a lot of kids here to see her grown up and be so successful and make a name for our town," said Emily Devenezia, a senior at Remsen High School.

Almost every home and store in Remsen has 'Go Erin!' signs, cheering on the olympic luger that put this small town on the world map.

"Our class has like 40 people what are the odds of someone from such a small town going into the Olympics," said Alexis Alfave, a senior at Remsen High School.

Watching Erin on an international stage means more than pride for this community, it means possibility.

"If someone from Remsen can make it in the Olympics almost anybody has a shot. It's going to take dedication. And one nice thing is Erin will come back time to time and talk to kids- give them the real skinny on what it takes to be an Olympic athlete," said William Crankshaw, superintendent of Remsen Central School District.

Erin's last two runs in the single luge are Tuesday and you can bet they'll be watching to see if she brings home a medal.

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