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U.S. Olympian Nick Baumgartner visits with West Iron County students

IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) – Gold medalist Nick Baumgartner is speaking to UP students. As he did two days ago, Baumgartner visited his alma mater, West Iron County High School, but today was dedicated to the students.

The spotlight was on Nick Baumgartner as he visited West Iron County Schools Wednesday. 850 students and staff gathered to welcome their hero.

“People are going to go crazy, and you are going to see what Wykons are made of right here in the gymnasium,” Baumgartner said.

As students packed the gym, Baumgartner shared lunch with his son Landon and his classmates. He had a lunchroom classic, nachos, and chocolate milk. Mike Berutti, Baumgartner’s former football coach in high school, says that is who the 40-year-old snowboarder is.

“He is the same person he was 25 ago when I met him. I was with him earlier in the hallway. Kids came up to get pictures with him, fist-bumping him, they all enjoy having him around. It is great what he has accomplished,” said Mike Berutti, West Iron County High School Principal.

Baumgartner spoke and gave advice to Wykons young and old, to follow your dreams.

“When things get hard and things get tough, you cannot give up on yourself. If you fight through that and keep going, anything is possible,” Baumgartner said.

Baumgartner engaged with students and tells them not to be afraid of failure.

“They’re going to see a lot of failures, especially at the beginning. I think they have to look at my story and see that when I had these big lows, and then I found a way to pick myself up, and two days late, I’m holding a gold medal,” Baumgartner explained.

Baumgartner says he will continue to race and prepare for the World Championships next year. When asked by a student, he did not rule out the possibility of another Olympic run.

After speaking at his alma mater today, Baumgartner will visit Forest Park schools tomorrow. The assembly is open to the public and will begin at 10 am CT.

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