Classmates, friends and family held an Olympic-style sendoff Friday for a local speed skater headed to Sochi with gold-medal dreams.
Emery Lehman, 17, whose speed-skating qualifier ended in a stunning finish from behind, was honored at Oak Park and River Forest High School ahead of the trip of a lifetime.
"We will all be cheering for you, and best of luck. Congratulations!"
Lehman has long shown promise on the ice. At age 14, he skated the 5K in just seven minutes.
"No 14-year-old in the world had ever done that," his dad said. "At that point we figured he had a special talent."
When he's not on the ice or training for hours in the gym or posing for photos with friends, Lehman also plays lacrosse and hockey.
"You know, I can’t wait to race," he said. "I think that’s one of my favorite parts when I'm there."
His classmates made sure he has some school gear with the Husky logo to bring with him to Russia. He's also bringing his textbooks.
"A lot of school to miss, so [there will be] a lot of time doing homework."
Now the focus is on preparing for the Games. He leaves Monday fo his shot to bring home gold.
"A dream come true. I get to take a big trip and skate for the U.S. in the Olympic games. It doesn’t get much better than this."