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Mother of Olympic athlete returns to Prairie du Chien

Mother of Olympic athlete returns to Prairie du Chien

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WI (WKBT) - An area mom has returned from watching her son become an Olympic medalist at Sochi.

Prairie du Chien native Matt Antoine took the bronze in skeleton Saturday as several of his family members, including his mother, Mary Antoine, looked on from the grandstands.

Thursday was Mary's first full day back in Wisconsin, and she spent most of it unpacking her suitcase and her most memorable moments from the trip.
When News 8 first spoke with Mary before she left for Sochi a few weeks ago, she talked about the excitement of becoming the mother of an Olympic athlete.

"I've watched the Olympics for so many years, and I've always seen the moms down at the end, cheering," she had said. "I get to be one of those moms this year."
Now, back in Prairie, she looks back at the moment Matt took bronze and says it was hard to believe.

"I've been to a lot of Matt's competitions and world cups and world championships, and it sort of seemed the same, because I was watching him slide against the same people he has slid against for several years," she remembers. "But then on the second day, as I sat there, it finally felt like it was the Olympics, not just another competition."

Mary also talked about the heart-breaking run by Antoine's teammate, John Daly. Daly was in contention for 3rd place before losing control during his final slide, when his poor timing ultimately bumped him to 15th. Mary was sitting by Daly's mom in the stands when it took place.

"I couldn't talk to her, I couldn't even look at her," she says. "I know how it felt. Your son is up there, ready to start, and you're cheering and you're yelling and you're screaming, and they pop the groove and everything just falls out of you, literally. What do you say, what do you do? So I knew how she was feeling,"

Mary called her visit to Sochi the experience of a lifetime. In true Wisconsin spirit, she says she and her family wore cheeseheads for all of Matt's competitions.

Matt told News 8 he plans on staying in Sochi for the closing ceremony, scheduled for Sunday.

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