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Cancer survivor Bryan Fletcher goes for the gold

PARK CITY, Utah - Bryan Fletcher overcame leukemia as a child, and is now on his way to his second Winter Olympics as a member of the U.S. nordic combined team.
PARK CITY, Utah - Many Olympic athletes have had to overcome some kind of hardship to achieve their dreams, but not many have had to deal with overcoming cancer. U.S. nordic combined skier Bryan Fletcher triumphed over acute lymphoblastic leukemia as a child, and is now on his way to Sochi to compete in the Winter Olympics. 

"As a kid going through chemo, it's something that you always remember and are always going to look back on," Fletcher said. "But going through it, I always just wanted to be a normal kid."

But for most of his childhood, he wasn't. Fletcher kept skiing and jumping as a kid, but soon suffered a stroke before his cancer finally went into remission. 

"I had a pretty extensive battle, having a stroke and an allergic reaction to some chemotherapy drugs," he said. "But once I was all clear through that, I think I was 8 years old after a 2-year remission study to make sure nothing was awry. I didn't really look back on it until I was in high school. I was like, 'Wow, this is motivation.' It's something that pushes me everyday."

In addition to training for the Olympics, Fletcher also works with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, telling his story to inspire other kids. 

"As a kid, I never once doubted for a second that I wouldn't conquer the chemo or anything like that," Fletcher said. "For me, it's just give them that positive, that optimism and just let them enjoy their passions whatever they may be."

Fletcher almost made the the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, but now his goal is to win medal in Sochi in what is expected to be the strongest nordic combined team in U.S. history. 

"I thought last year, winning a world championship medal was a dream come true," he said. "This year, going into the season, seeing the Olympics in the forefront, I get giddy with excitement."

Fletcher will try to secure a spot on the U.S. team this weekend at the Utah Olympic Park.
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