Letâ??s just say if you weren't wearing red, white and blue at the West Iron County gym on Friday afternoon, you would've stuck out like a sore thumb. The entire facility was filled with family, friends and the community, so dear to the heart of Iron River native and Olympic snowboarder Nick Baumgartner.
â??Everyone was so pumped and everyone knows that I have the experience of going once, and now this time I can go and really focus on why Iâ??m going and try to bring a medal home,â?? said Baumgartner.
Chants, cheers, speeches, and tears; it was nothing short of a perfect and patriotic send-off.
â??Itâ??s very emotional for me, and for me that emotion is good; it's definitely going to help me as I go forward,â?? Baumgartner said. â??I know what Iâ??m fighting for, and I know what Iâ??m trying to do.â??
Students at the school said theyâ??d been bottling up the excitement all week.
â??The whole school has been really excited and they're holding flags and holding up posters,â?? said student Ellie Holroyd.
Nickâ??s son, Landon, of course, was at the rally, beaming alongside classmates and chatting about how they believe his dad will go all the way.
â??If he tries hard enough, he can,â?? said Landon.
â??His class is going nuts for me, and as a dad that's super cool to be able to give that to my son and have his whole class proud of his dad that he's proud of,â?? Baumgartner said.
Itâ??s small-town America at its finest; a champion heading to the world's largest athletic stage to represent the town and people he's most proud of.
â??On a scale of 1 to 10, Iâ??m at about 20,â?? Baumgartner said.