Bluffton Man Cheers Olympic Grandson - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Bluffton Man Cheers Olympic Grandson

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BLUFFTON, S.C. -

We all cheer on the Olympic athletes, like they're a part of our family. But it's real for one lowcountry man.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don't wish to know the results of Wednesday's game STOP READING.

Frits van Riemsdyk cheers on his grandson, James, who plays on the USA hockey team.

"Its unbelievable. He's the first van riemsdyk in the history of our family to compete in the Olympics. He's also the first American-born Van Riemsdyk"

James plays left wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he's strapped on his red, white, and blues and is playing for his home country.

"It is a very special thing representing your country like when you hear the national anthem and especially when you get the special awards, gold silver, or bronze, that is an unbelievable feeling."

And he's not the only one cheering on the Olympian.

"I'm getting phone calls from relatives in Australia and Holland and Germany, saying hey I saw your grandson play and that makes you feel very good."

In keeping up the good vibes, Frits sent the love over seas.

"I sent him a text message before he left, and remind him of all the great things he's done in the past and pointed out that he was the first Van Riemsdyk in the history of our 2000 year old family who did so well."

So well, in fact, James had the first goal of Wednesday's quarterfinal match against the Czech Republic, and is aiming for gold.

"I hope so but it is a team that cannot be discounted in any way the Canadians. Its the national sport in Canada, and when they kill all of the other oppositions and then you get slowed down a little, that's a little bit dubious."

But the US continued its winning streak defeating the Czech Republic 5-2 and moving on to the semi-finals. As for a medal, we'll have to wait and see.

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