Local Olympians return home

March 1, 2010 8:34:17 PM PST
Local members of Team U.S.A. returned home Monday night. Not all won the medals they had hoped for. But they did bring back memories they'll cherish for a lifetime. They are back on American soil. But the cheers continued.

"This is the best feeling ever, to be welcomed home like this," said Nancy Swider-Peltz, Wheaton speed skater.

Many of the Olympians have worked much of their lives in order to get a chance to experience the last two weeks. Some who are involved in winter sports that get little attention in non-Olympic years are drinking in the experience.

"Usually we're doing it for the fun of it. It's really cool to have everybody excited," said Jonathan Kuck, speed skater.

It's also really cool to come back with a medal, like speed skaters Kuck, from Champaign, and Brian Hansen from Glenview.

"I was just pumped. It was the best moment of my life," Hansen said.

The Games were also filled with great moments for Jessica Vetter, who won silver as the goalie for the women's hockey team.

"We're happy. It was pretty special," said Vetter.

The Olympics are old hat for Mark Grimmette. This was the fifth for the bobsledder from New York. But the opening ceremony is one he'll never forget.

"Being able to carry the flag ahead of the U.S. delegation was a very special moment," Grimmette said.