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Bloomsday 2010

Olympic gold medalist inspires would-be Bloomsday runners

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Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson visited students at Michael Anderson Elementary School on the Friday before Bloomsday (Photo: KHQ) Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson visited students at Michael Anderson Elementary School on the Friday before Bloomsday (Photo: KHQ)

FAIRCHILD AFB - A former Bloomsday winner and Olympic gold medalist arrived in Spokane for Sunday's big race and promptly provided some inspiration for local elementary school students at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first Olympic women's marathon in 1984, visited Michael Anderson Elementary school Friday morning. She spoke to kids about health and fitness - among other things.

"You can live your dreams, you can follow your heart and you can achieve your goals," Samuelson told the young students.

Samuelson, 52, will attempt to beat the Bloomsday record of 44:56 for the 50-54 age group on Sunday. The current record is held by Shirley Matson from Moraga, Calif.

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    (Photo: KHQ)(Photo: KHQ)
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