Olympics

David Sommerstein/NCPR

America's first athlete to win a medal in singles luge was treated to a homecoming fit for a hero last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the luge track in Sochi, Russia earned her the bronze.

After interviews, celebrity appearances, and photo shoots in New York City this week, Hamlin touched down at the Syracuse airport. A police escort and fire trucks guided her past miles of cheering crowds to the tiny town of Remsen in the foothills of the southern Adirondacks.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A small group of family and friends made the arrivals lounge at the Syracuse airport sound more like the bottom on the Olympic luge track Thursday evening. They were welcoming home Remsen, N.Y. native and Olympic medalist Erin Hamlin.

Hamlin became the first American to ever medal in singles luge when she slid to bronze at the Sochi Winter Games this month.

"It's a different world for her right now," her mother, Eileen Hamlin, said.

Almost 700 athletes will file into the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse this evening to kick-off this year’s New York Special Olympic Games.

The OnCenter will also host floor hockey competition. Alpine skiing will be at Greek Peak. And there are snowshoeing and cross-country ski races too.

Stacey Eder, the volunteer coordinator for the Special Olympics, says having their annual event coincide with the Winter Olympics in Russia will add to the excitement.

sam_churchhill / via Flickr

Mohawk Valley native Erin Hamlin has become the first American to win an Olympic medal in singles luge.

Hamlin slid to a third place finish and a bronze medal today at the winter games in Sochi, Russia. 

It was her third time completing in the Olympics. She was world champion in 2009, but she had finished out of the top 10 at the last two games.

The 27-year-old is from Remsen, N.Y., about 20 miles north of Utica.

"I'm sure everyone at home is going crazy," Hamlin told the Associated Press, "and I can't wait to get home to see them."

messycupcakes / Flickr

A shipment of Chobani Greek yogurt bound for the Olympics is still stuck in customs at a New Jersey airport.

The upstate New York yogurt maker is a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic team. The yogurt is supposed to feed American athletes competing at the winter games in Sochi, Russia.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer has urged the Russian ambassador to the United States to let the yogurt leave the country.

"The land next to heaven."

That's the way Lopez Lomong describes his love for and thanks to this country for the opportunities it has afforded him.