Nearly three weeks after the world watched him take the bronze in Olympic skeleton, Prairie du Chien's own Matt Antoine has returned home.
Hundreds of his biggest fans were there to welcome Antoine back Friday evening at the Dousman House, including several legislators. Prairie’s mayor also officially declared March 15 Matt Antoine Day.
"It's great, just the reception of everyone since I’ve been home, their excitement,” Antoine said. “It's a great experience, and it's great to see how excited the community is about it.”
Inside the quiet town, residents are welcoming home one of their own, fresh from a bronze finish in Sochi.
Their roar, both deafening and exhilirating, is all in the name of Antoine. Scores of friends, family and fans flocked to show support for this small-town hero, returning home to where it all started.
"I'm definitely thinking about everything I've down growing up you have those experiences and now you get to relieve them again,” Antoine reminisced.
Surrounded by snapshots of where he's been, Matt takes a moment to reflect on just how far he's come.
"It's been 11 years of hard work getting to this point and just kind of an affirmation of everything I’ve worked towards."
The homecoming even brought Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Prairie to share its pride in his Olympic athlete representing the state, and the country, on that worldwide stage.
[“I’m] just proud to be here, exciting to celebrate him and share in the celebration of the community,” Walker said.
With a love for speed and for skeleton, Matt's sure to have a long career ahead of him, in four years and beyond. But wherever his future takes him, right now in this moment, Matt's got an entire town standing up for him.