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Local Olympian Turns Into Motivational Speaker

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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GRANBURY (CBSDFW.COM) – Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer is taking advantage of staying out of the pool in Autumn to tread new water professionally.

The gold medalist is now touring the country as a motivational speaker.

Wednesday, she stood on a stage with a large American flag as a back drop to address north Texas businessmen and women.

“I just want to thank all of you for having me here today,” Vollmer said at the start of her speech. “And I couldn’t be more proud of Granbury and all that it has given me.

On this day, her speaking tour brought her home to Granbury. Prior to the speech she sat down to chat with CBS 11’s Joel Thomas. She talked about battling back from injuries and apathy after she missed the cut for the 2008 Olympics.

“Missing the team allowed me to step back and realize what I love about the sport and why I do it,” Vollmer said. I love being with my teammates and motivating my teammates.”

Four years after that disappointment, it was all about winning a relay with the teammates she cherishes.

“The medley relay we swim with four different strokes,” Vollmer said of the race where a different teammate swims each leg with a different stroke. “So, it’s just the four of us doing the best we can possibly do. The medley — it’s just one of those where everyone wants to get on it.”

And there’s the satisfaction of working hard enough to set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly.

“I always wanted to win an individual goal and to be the first woman to break 55-seconds,” Vollmer said. “I’ve always set high goals for myself and often times they’re high enough I don’t reach them for a while. To have set that goal and to have achieved it? I think that’s still sinking in!”

Vollmer was greeted before her speech with enthusastiac handshakes from people anxious to congratulate her and she posed for pictures with community business leaders

“She’s from Granbury, Texas: Dana Vollmer,” is how the MC introduced her for her speech. “Welcome home!”

He may not of known just how welcoming Granbury is to Vollmer. Wednesday, Vollmer gave her inspirational speech in the town that inspired her.

“There’s a sense of calm for me when I come home,” Vollmer said. “And I’m so happy when I just feel like I can come and I can relax and be myself and everyone’s so loving and so supportive. I really couldn’t have asked for a more supportive town through my entire journey.”

Vollmer said she will continue to compete but the 2016 Olympics are a little to far off for her to make a decision about right now.

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