OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — It’s not every day that someone is on a ladder changing out a sign or opening a bar at 5:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning.
"I had it up all week, but they were afraid too many people were coming," yelled down the man as he swapped letters.
There was movement so early at Fat Little Buddies in Olmsted Township, because it's also not every day that someone you know is competing for a gold medal.
"'Till this morning, I was actually pretty relaxed, surprisingly" Hugo Moon, Katie Nageotte's long time boyfriend, told 3News
"I am so anxious right now," Katie's sister, Emily, added. "I didn't get any sleep last night."
"She loved it from the start, and she was really good right off the bat," Katie's mother Diane said, "but you never believe something like this could happen."
Diane is talking, of course, about pole vaulting. Katie started the sport in the seventh grade, and little did Diane know that all those car trips with those giant poles would lead to this.
It was an early-morning, emotional rollercoaster ride, and it was happening at two places simultaneously. While many were gathered at Fat Little Buddies, many others were up the road at Community Room.
Each place was packed with friends, family, acquaintances, and people that just wanted to see someone from their town do something so great. Both buildings gasped and moaned with each missed height and erupted each time Katie cleared the bar.
"This place was buzzing, and then the very first miss at 4.50, suddenly it was like, 'Hang on,'" Moon said. "This is the Olympics, and everything is on the line."
"I mean, there were points where you could hear a pin drop," Katie's brother Andy remembered. "There were a lot of highs and lows."
"I thought I was going to throw up," Emily admitted. "I was so nervous."
The bouncing wave of emotions continued for more than an hour, until what everyone was watching seemed to pause time. Katie was preparing to attempt a jump that could all but cement the win and a gold medal. As soon as she glided through the air over the 4.9-meter bar, it was euphoria that echoed throughout the city.
"I can't even put it into words," Diane gushed. "I don't even know what I am thinking. It's just a dream come true. I'm just so happy for her."
"That was absolutely surreal," Andy added.
"I always knew she could do it, but to have her actually do it just so good," Emily said.
"She's better than everyone, but my God, she tested our patience," Hugo remarked.
So, if people call off work in Olmsted Falls today or tomorrow, don't blame them. They may have signs or more shirts to make; they may still be celebrating. After all, it's not every day that someone you know wins a gold medal.
'CLEVELAND, THIS IS FOR YOU!': Katie Nageotte channels LeBron James after gold medal-winning jump