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Saturday, February 27, 2010

shelby nebraska

The town of Shelby celebrated a big victory for a hometown hero Saturday -- and some fans rejoiced earlier than others.

Much of the town avoided newscasts, phone calls and text messages for hours Saturday evening, waiting for television coverage of the Olympic four-man bobsledding championship to find out their Curt Tomasevicz had won gold.

A crowd of about 150 people gathered at A&B Lounge in Shelby to watch the final heats.

When NBC aired the U.S. team's victory-clinching heat at about 9:30 p.m., the bar went crazy.

There was "a lot of hollering," bartender Don Brandt shouted into the phone. "Still a lot of hollering."

Tomasevicz's mother, brother and about 25 other people from Nebraska witnessed the win first-hand.

"When they got past the ‘50-50' turn - and they got past fine - we all just started screaming," said Tomasevicz's 25-year-old brother Jon, who watched from the finish line.

Curve 13 - dubbed "50-50" by the team's pilot, Steven Holcomb - is considered the track's most diabolical turn.

Tomasevicz's U.S. team is the first to win gold in the event since 1948. The team's four-run time was 3 minutes, 24.46 seconds.

Jon Tomasevicz and his brother -- a former Husker football player -- exchanged a fist pound after the race.

Amy Tomasevicz, who watched her son cross the finish line from the stands, told the Journal Star by telephone she was "busting with pride."

"It feels unbelieveable," she said after the race. "I mean, I can't even put it into words.

"Thank God they did it. ... You just have to hope they do the best that they can do. And they did."

The family sat down for dinner at the beginning of the week, but hadn't seen each other in months before that. After his family returns home today, Tomasevicz is expected back in Nebraska on Monday.

Then, they'll celebrate a late Christmas before their hero leaves again.

Saturday, Amy Tomasevicz was hoping to see her son at the night's medal ceremony.

"I'm gonna give him a great big hug."

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