BERWICK — Hundreds of elementary school students in Columbia County had a brush with fame on Friday.
U.S. Olympic luger Jayson Terdiman, originally from Berwick, visited his alma mater Salem Elementary School. And the Olympian got quite the homecoming welcome.
Terdiman grew up in Berwick and now that he’s back from competing at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia he made time to stop by his old elementary school to meet students and answer their questions.
“It was a great experience. It’s something new for me. Usually when I come to talk to kids, it’s what luge is. Seems like everybody in the area now has an idea of what I do so it’s kind of cool,” Terdiman said.
The students in school dressed up in red, white, and blue and were so excited to meet Terdiman. They say there’s nothing like meeting a real Olympian in person, and some of them even got some autographs.
“It makes me feel super-awesome.”
“I was like ‘wow, I actually get to meet an Olympian.’”
“There’s only so many Olympians from USA and one of them’s from our town. That’s pretty cool,” said fifth grader Adam Anderson.
Having Terdiman visit the school and sign autographs was enough of a gift for students and faculty. so they returned the favor giving him a Salem Elementary t-shirt and donations for his training fund.
“Getting all the letters and the videos and people well-wishing me, it’s like ‘OK, hope I don’t screw up’ but no, it was great,” said Terdiman.
He says he never thought he’d be a role model but he’s happy to do it and wear his Salem Elementary t-shirt, almost as proudly as the kids when they chant,” U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
Terdinman hopes to give the kids another reason to cheer. He plans to compete in the next Winter Olympics.