Back home in Northeastern Pennsylvania, an entire town will be cheering their own as he competes in the world’s biggest stage in Sochi, Russia.
A crowd of an estimated hundred-plus well-wishers will wake up before the crack of dawn, pack into a Berwick fire hall this morning and root for Olympian Jayson Terdiman in the men’s doubles luge.
Doors open for the Team Terdiman Pep Rally at 5 a.m. at the Reliance Fire Company on 501 West Third Street. There will be a large television screen, donuts, coffee and bagels donated from local businesses. The broadcast of Terdiman’s first event is scheduled for 9:15 a.m.
Team Terdiman is a larger effort that extends beyond his hometown of Berwick. A Facebook group – under the name “Team Terdiman” – set up by his parents and curated by Jayson himself has kept fans in the loop about his Olympics journey. The group has grown to 1,700 fans, many of whom posted photos, articles and well wishes as Terdiman strives for an Olympic medal.
“I know Jayson and his mom from the gym,” said Marc Nespoli, owner of Fuel Fitness and one of the organizaers of Team Terdiman events in Berwick. “I think that the excitement of the Olympics grabbed a hold of everyone in Berwick. Myself and a couple of people in Berwick asked his mom if we could get some things going in the town. His mom asks me often to remind people that Jayson is thrilled with the vibe in town.”
His father, Jay Terdiman, said his son checks the group daily and has been awestruck by the amount of support received from his fans.
“We went out around town and took photos of the signs,” Jay said. “When he checks in with us, he is completely beside himself with what’s going on around here. It’s helped motivate him toward his goals.”
Known for its illustrious town pride for its high school football team, Berwick has caught Olympic fever. Banners, signs and T-shirts pepper the borough’s businesses, windows and front lawns in support of their native son.
“People are just going nuts here in Berwick,” Jay said. “It’s one of the great things to come out of this town. Everyone is really proud of him and showing it.”
Students and teachers at Salem Elementary, Berwick High School and Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech are encouraged to wear their red, white and blue in support. Many teachers, according to the Team Terdiman Facebook group, announced they will be showing the race live to their classes.
“My youngest son comes home from school today and said, ‘Dad, do you know that a guy from Berwick is in the Olympics?’,” Berwick’s James Meighan wrote on the Facebook group. “So I said ‘Yeah son, all of Berwick and many others have been showing support.’ He said ‘Well I wrote him a letter and I hope he reads it.”
The Facebook page has postings of fans from nearly 20 states in the past three days, including folks from New Mexico, Arizona and Washington showing their Team Terdiman support.