Paul Schommer: Road to Recovery
by Tom Kelly
New Gloucester, Maine - Injuries are a part of sport. It’s something every athlete faces at some point. This past winter, Olympic biathlete Paul Schommer cut his season short with an early March knee surgery. In this episode of Heartbeat, he shares insights into his injury, his rehab plan to get back in top physical shape, the ways he’s managing the mental aspects and how archery has helped him stay active.
Just prior to the season, Schommer felt a twinge in his left knee during a workout. He tried to put it out of his mind, but it was real. But he was able to ski so he headed to the IBU World Cup tour and eventually the World Championships. Having had knee surgery in 2019, he knew what was in store. And it helped that wife Jillian was a budding orthopedic surgeon herself, finishing up her residency in Sioux Falls, S.D.
A Wisconsin native, Schommer grew up loving the outdoors. He’s no stranger to guns and bows, learning skills in a family that hunted. As a part of his rehab he found himself drifting back to his childhood love of archery, even entering a spring competition in nearby Yankton, S.D.
Schommer dives deep into the physical and mental aspects of rehab in this episode of Heartbeat. A veteran athlete, he has great experience to share and a positive outlook for the future. While his early March surgery cut off the last period of the World Cup, his game plan seems sound for a return to full time training later this summer and being able to hit the snow running next November.
Paul Schommer on Archery
“I missed archery. I missed the act of shooting. There's something meditative about it because it's quiet. It's probably similar to martial arts or yoga. So I bought this bow and I just started falling in love with it all over again like I did as a kid.”
How to Follow Paul
Fans can follow Paul Schommer’s story on social media. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel: Average Olympian.
YouTube: @paultschommer (Average Olympian)