Olympic Gold Medalist Visits Children at Sanford Hospital - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Olympic Gold Medalist Visits Children at Sanford Hospital

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Young patients at Sanford Children's Hospital got the chance to hold a real piece of gold.

An Olympian makes a special visit bringing smiles to faces -- and a message to follow your dreams.

The halls of Sanford Children's hospital were filled with excitement and inspiration today as young patients were treated to an unforgettable visit.

Just seeing Stacy Dragila and hearing her story, is enough to brighten these kids' day.

Dragila's success began on a whim while she was a heptathlete in college.

Dragila says, "One day my coach just trots over and says hey ladies, come try the pole vault and I said women don't pull vault and he's like who says?"

Years later, she paved the way in women's pole vault capturing the first gold medal in the event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Now she enjoys sharing her story with others and encouraging young children to never give up.

"Just to give them a little bit of hope or just to take their mind off of their pain and talk about something that they haven't ever thought about before and you know we started conversations and you see some smiles on their face," says Dragila.

"It is indescribable," said Mikayla Lennie.

"For me, you know, to win a gold medal was a dream come true and a lot of them I told to keep dreaming because you never know, you know, what you're going to be and so it's always fun to go home and get the letter in the mail from a parent or a kid saying thank you and it really makes your day and you just hope that you can continue to pass that on," says Dragila.

"I wanted to be a banker but now I want to like, kind of, like dream more."

And just as Stacy achieved her dream, she strives to inspire others to sprint down the runway and take the jump.

This is Stephanie Scheurer, KX News.

Stacy will be speaking at the Great Plains Young Professionals Summit held at the National Energy Center for Excellence.

The event starts today and goes through June 1st.

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