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Ogdensburg native Patricia Boak proud of granddaughter Erin Hamlin’s efforts in Winter Olympics

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OGDENSBURG — Erin M. Hamlin’s grandmother, city native Patricia M. Mullady Boak, was on the edge of her seat when she watched the women’s singles luge on television.

Ms. Hamlin, 27, of Remsen, took the bronze at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, last Tuesday, becoming the first American to score a medal in the event.

Ms. Hamlin is the daughter of Eileen and Ronald Hamlin and her grandfather is Ogdensburg native Les Porter.

Mrs. Boak, who now lives in Holland Patent just outside Utica, said it was “nerve-racking” to watch her granddaughter maneuver the course. “She is kind of fearless.”

During a family viewing party, Mrs. Boak said, “We were all on edge. Even the toddlers were totally silent when she came down. It’s history-making.”

“We had all this wonderful food that everybody brought, but everybody was too nervous to eat it,” she added.

Ms. Hamlin’s journey to Sochi began when she was 12, Mrs. Boak said, when she was learning to luge at Lake Placid.

She began competing nationally as she got older and ran races in both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

Mrs. Boak said it was an especially proud moment for the family when she won the world championship in 2009 during the International Luge Federation Championships in Lake Placid.

But now, Mrs. Boak said, Sochi is “the highlight of her career.”

Even today, after Ms. Hamlin has spent the better part of 15 years in luge, Mrs. Boak said, it’s tough to watch.

“I’ve seen some of the crashes,” she said. “You know what can happen. That’s why you get nervous.”

Mrs. Boak graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in 1959. Ms. Hamlin has her grandmother’s maiden name, Mullady, as her middle name.

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