Washington County roots for hometown Olympian

Driver Codie Bascue and Samuel McGuffie of the United States take a practice run during training for the two-man bobsled at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. Driver Codie Bascue and Samuel McGuffie of the United States take a practice run during training for the two-man bobsled at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. | Photo: AP Photo / Wong Maye-E.

February 16, 2018 05:16 PM

That cheering sound you'll hear coming from the north this weekend will be all of Washington County rooting for its hometown Olympian.

Codie Bascue of Whitehall will represent Team USA Sunday and Monday in the two-man bobsled.

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This is what Codie has dreamed about and worked toward since he was just 8-years old. 

If there was a medal for the most soft-spoken Olympian in Pyeongchang, Codie Bascue might take gold. He's a world-class athlete, who's not really comfortable talking about how good he is.

"Been training hard, doing pretty well," he acknowledged.

At 23 years old, Codie is America's top driver in the two-man and four-man bobsled.

To tell the story of how he got here, you have to understand where he came from. He grew up in Dresden, just on the other side of the Whitehall town line. He went to Whitehall schools, excelling in football and baseball, while quietly concentrating on bobsledding. 

Codie is quick to thank his family in Whitehall for all of their support -- especially his grandfather, who started him with this 15 years ago.

Codie was just 8 years old when he first went along with the man he calls, "Pop" on his trips to Lake Placid for recreational bobsledding.

"Oh yeah. We've always been close," noted Alan Bascue.

He was always fascinated by the sport, so he was eager to introduce his grandson to it. 

Alan even convinced school in Whitehall to let him start a bobsled club, the only one of its kind in the nation. 

"Just based off his love for the sport. He wanted other young people to experience it," noted Codie.

Alan volunteered his time. They held spaghetti suppers and knocked on doors seeking donations to buy a couple sleds. Every weekend, they'd drive an hour and a half to Lake Placid. Kids loved it and one, in particular, was really good at it.

"Got into it then and fell in love and been doing it since," explained Codie.

Now the number one driver, Codie is at the top of the American program -- and he's done it through hard work and dedication, instilled in him by an old-fashioned family in an old-fashioned hometown.

"There's certainly a lot of points where he could've said, 'I've had enough,' but he just never stopped," pointed out Craig Bascue.

Now, Codie is hoping that same determination lands him on the Olympic podium.

"To think about winning a medal is just, it would be incredible."

Back home in Whitehall and Dresden, banners hang letting the world know who they're supporting.

"Having Whitehall have an Olympian is just like over-the-top exciting," beamed Cheryl Putorti.

Codie's parents, aunt, grandmother and of course his beloved "Pop" are in PyeongChang. 

"I kind of ride with him, I think, with every run," admitted Alan Bascue.

"He's my biggest fan. I don't think he would miss it for the world," affirmed Cody.

He's right. Alan fights back tears as he thinks about how proud he is of his grandson, the Olympian. 

"Amazing. It was kind of my goal," acknowledged Alan, who admitted he had “wicked” pride -- and with good reason.

You can watch Codie Bascue compete at the following times:

Sunday, Feb. 18

  • NBCSN 7:10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled Competition
  • NBC 7 p.m. to Midnight Two-Man Bobsled Competition


Mon, Feb. 19

  • NBCSN 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Two-Man Bobsled Gold Medal Final Runs
  • NBC 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m Two-Man Bobsled-Gold Medal Final Runs


Fri, Feb. 23

  • NBC 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled Competition


Sat, Feb. 24

  • NBC 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Four-Man Bobsled-Gold Medal Final Runs (LIVE)

The community of Whitehall has also scheduled public watch parties to root for Codie. The first one is being held Sunday morning, 7 a.m. at the Whitehall Elks Lodge.


WNYT Staff

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