Prairie du Chien native Matt Antoine enjoyed a national audience on Saturday after winning the bronze medal at the Olympics, but some of his biggest fans were cheering him on here in the Coulee region.
Local fans gathered at Jim’s Bar in Prairie du Chien to watch Matt Antoine take his final run in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Saturday. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for one high school friend of Antoine’s, who has been cheering him on from small-town Prairie du Chien.
Bridget Nichols watched closely on Saturday as her long-time friend reached speeds of 80 miles an hour. As she waited in anticipation, she couldn’t help but be proud of how far he has come since high school.
“He didn’t really get into skeleton until maybe our junior and senior year,” said Nichols. “He watched the Olympics in 2002, saw the skeleton and got into it. He decided it was something he wanted to try out and go after.”
Antoine is an Olympic medalist and Nichols couldn’t be happier.
“It just makes me just teary eyed because he did it! Not many people can say that they lived out their dream like he did,” said Nichols. “I knew he would get a medal, for some reason I just knew.”
Although Antoine is thousands of miles away, well wishes are being sent overseas to him.
“Matt, congratulations! I am so proud of you. Can’t wait to see you when you come home and give you a huge hug,” said Nichols.
“He did an excellent job, he didn’t choke under pressure and it was awesome seeing him on TV,” said Prairie du Chien resident Robert Velasco.
It was a monumental moment for many locals as they cheered for Antoine.
Many local fans expect to see Antoine back at the winter Olympic games in another four years and you can bet they will be there cheering him on every step of the way.