CSS alum, Paul Schommer prepares for first Olympic games

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Many Olympic athletes spend their whole lives shaping their craft. But that wasn’t the case for College of St. Scholastica alum Paul Schommer.

The former wrestler didn’t pick up skiing until he was a high school sophomore. Then after catching the eye of Saints coach Chad Salmela, he was introduced to biathlon.

"I didn’t think that I was really that great of an athlete and that the Olympics were reserved for people that were more on the superhuman spectrum. When I was in college, he started to put me on this path that would allow me to continue to grow and develop as an athlete beyond college," said Schommer.

Schommer said he feels prepared for his first Olympic games coming up under Salemela. Who has years of experience both competing in, and calling international biathlon events. However the pandemic has made it an experience unlike any he could have imagined.

"We had to do a 96, 72, and a 24 hour test and fill out a bunch of forms and stuff to be able to get into Beijing. Then we’ll get into the athlete bubble and then every single day they do health screenings and a test every single day," exclaimed Schommer.

Schommer is one of four men and eight total members on USA’s Biathlon team for the 2022 Winter Games.

Team USA still seeks their first medal in the sport. The mixed relay opens the Olympic biathlon schedule February 5th.