Whitehall cheers on native son in Olympics

Whitehall cheers on native son in Olympics Photo: WNYT.

February 19, 2018 06:03 PM

WHITEHALL - For a few minutes on Sunday morning, the Elks Lodge in Whitehall was probably the most exciting and stressed out spot in upstate New York. The crowd was watching one of their own compete in the Olympics.

"It was pretty exciting and kind of unreal," said party organizer Michael Putorti. "He's been working so hard. We all watched him. We've supported him for years."

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Codie Bascue, the only Olympian to have grown up entirely in Whitehall and Dresden, is a bobsledder. He was eight years old when he began that journey. Most everyone on hand watched his progress and never imagined he'd be in that position today -- a top driver for U.S.A’s bobsled team.

"It was very exciting. He had a passion for it, which you could tell early on," said family friend Tammy Delorme. "It's been fabulous to watch the progression all the way through."

Bascue's grandfather was the one who introduced him to bobsledding. He and Bascue's parents are all in South Korea cheering him on in person. Delorme says she can only imagine what Bascue's mother is feeling right now.

"She's just living the moment. She's texting me back and forth this morning. It's amazing," said Delorme.

Sunday morning was the two-man competition. Bascue's team was in 25th place after the first two runs. The community in his hometown who gathered for the watch party were hopeful he'll improve his placement in the next two runs.

But medal or not, pride doesn't even begin to explain how they feel to see someone they know so personally compete against the very best in the world.

"To see what this whole town has put in towards him getting there was one of the greatest things we could see here," Putorti said.


WNYT Staff

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