Hamlin's friends, family relish historic victory

By Joleen Ferris

(WKTV) - Word traveled fast.

The email blast went something like this: "You're feeling sick today. You need to go to the 1888 Tavern at F.X. Matt Brewery." 

That's the message Erin Hamlin's family and friends received, letting them know about the impromptu viewing party at the brewery, which drew about 50 people.

The pin-drop silence during Hamlin's final, approximately 52-second luge run instantly erupted into wild applause when it became clear that her time was enough to guarantee her a bronze medal.

The time also guaranteed the U.S. a distinction that, until this day, had eluded it. 

"It's not possible to put into words. I'm beyond words," said Carol Hamlin Buczek, Erin's aunt. "I'm so incredibly excited for Erin and for the United States and for Erin's family. It's huge. It's historic. U.S. Luge has never medaled in singles men or women so for Erin to do this, she just broke history."

Buczek pointed out that her niece didn't just slide into that coveted spot on the took a lot of work to get there.

"The work, the dedication, that goes into what she does, people have no idea what she's given up, the sacrifices she's done and how hard that she trains and works, 365 days a year," said Buczek.

"The small town of Remsen, we have an Olympic hero, a medalist," said Remsen resident Dennis Corrigan. "It's awesome! It's fantastic!" 

Corrigan spoke of the message today's Olympic Bronze Medal win by the Remsen native sends to little girls with big dreams, everywhere.

"Try your best...slide fast!"

Hamlin's family hopes her historic win will also help familiarize Americans, especially young people, with the sport of luge -- and inspire them to take on the sport.


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