Prairie du Chien native Matt Antoine is still celebrating his bronze medal Olympic finish in men’s skeleton.
News 8 talked to Antoine on the phone from Sochi, Russia, on Wednesday morning.
“It’s been a pretty crazy few days, for sure,” Antoine said.
Antoine finished with a combined time of 3:47.26. It's his first Olympic medal.
“As soon as I crossed that finish line, the first thing I looked for was the clock. I knew I had a great run and I was pretty sure I medaled but you gotta see the clock to know for sure. Once I was coming up the out-run, I knew right where my family was and I just looked for them and seeing the emotion on their faces, and what this meant to them, how they felt, it's unbelievable.”
Since “the moment the race was over,” Antoine has been doing press conferences, interviews and has been taking in the rest of the 2014 Winter Olympics as a spectator.
Antoine said he was excited his family was in Sochi to support him.
“They were right there in the front row and I just kept looking out at them. All the years and hard work that's been put into this and all the sacrifices they've given too, everything came together in that moment. Everything's been worth it.”
Antoine appreciates the “phenomenal” hometown support.
“Everyone's been so excited, Tweeting me, sending me messages on Facebook, everything. I knew there were going to be viewing parties and everyone was just super, super excited to see me race. Winning the medal I think just kind of put it over the top. I've had such an outpouring of support for everyone, it's been amazing.”
Antoine plans to stay in Sochi until the Olympics closing ceremony. Now that the pressure is off, he’s been taking in the atmosphere.
“There's a lot of tension leading up to your race. You're super focused on yourself, on what you're trying to do. You're trying to maximize your performance. Even though you're at the Olympics, you have very much a one-track mind, why you're here. You lose a lot of what's going on around you. For the first week, I honestly didn't know a lot about what's going on in the Games. I'm sure the people at home knew more about what was going on, even though I'm here. So now, I can watch all the other sports, take everything in and really just enjoy it. I've always been intrigued, love the Olympic games, watching them whenever they're on is my favorite thing to do and now I get to do that again, but now I'm actually here, seeing it in person, so it's phenomenal.”
What’s next for Antoine?
“Continue to get better. For me, there's still a lot on the table. I really feel like for now, I'm still coming into my own. This has been my breakout year but there's still places to go up from here. World Championships, World Cup overall, all of that and obviously, Gold is still on the table for four years from now.”