Olympic gold medal-winning speedskater Lucas Makowsky was welcomed back to his alma mater by wildly cheering students who filled the Regina school's gymnasium on Friday.
Makowsky trains in Calgary but has been adopted as a local hero by students at Wilfred Walker Elementary School, which he attended.
The youngsters have raised money to support his training and followed his every move at last month's Olympic Games in Vancouver, where he won a gold medal in men's team pursuit.
Makowsky, 22, said he plans to keep up the relationship with the school.
"Believe in yourself," Makwosky told the students. "It's never too early to dream big … even if you don't have those dreams now. I didn't have those Olympic dreams until I was out of elementary school.
"So, dream big, and you never know what can happen."
The school has created a Makowsky Award to reward students who demonstrate their own personal best.
The first recipients will be announced at an assembly in June.