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Olympic luger unites NY community from thousands of miles away

By ANNA MEILER

REMSEN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Erin Hamlin could make history Tuesday as the only American to earn a medal in the singles luge.

It's the half-way point in the event in the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Remsen native placed third Monday, behind two German competitors.

But, whether or not she earns a medal Tuesday, residents in her hometown of Remsen say she's already made history.

"She's a local from a small rural area, she made it all the way to the Olympics. Nothing better than that, right?" said Dave Richardson.

Signs line the roads, buttons are pinned to hats, pictures of her sit in windows. It's Erin-mania in the Olympic luger's hometown.

"She's a hometown girl from a hometown place. We all just love her," said Tracy Neal.

Over 5,000 miles away in Sochi, Erin Hamlin is making a difference at home.

"I think she's going to do amazing. I love how close our community is getting because of her," said Taylor Childers.

Her third trip to the Olympic games, Erin's story is one of persistence and kids here are paying attention.

"She's basically telling them to live their dream," said 12-year-old Savannah Neal.

Whether she comes home with a medal around her neck or empty-handed, Gary Storsberg says, "The parents are proud, the whole community's proud of her, she should be proud of herself."

Erin's two final runs in the singles luge are Tuesday morning.

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