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Going for the Gold: Bryan Fletcher

Any Olympic athletes have had to overcome some kind of hardship to achieve their dreams.
Any 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. Dana Greene continues our series, "Going for the gold."

Bryan Fletcher is as well-toned an athlete as you’ll find at the winter Olympics. He is a key member of what is expected to be the best Nordic combined team in U.S. history. But considering what Fletcher had to overcome, his journey to Sochi is astounding. At the age of 3, Fletcher was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent chemotherapy treatment for almost 5 years.

"As a kid going through chemo, it's something that you always remember and are always going to look back on. 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 finally going into remission.

"I had a pretty extensive battle, having a stroke and an allergic reaction to some chemotherapy drugs. 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," said Fletcher.

In addition to training for the Olympics, Fletcher also works with the leukemia and lymphoma society telling his story to inspire kids.

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

Fletcher competed at the 2010 games in Vancouver, now his goal is to medal in Sochi.

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

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