“Monster” Mike Schultz wearing #25 as he raced down the hill at the World Para Snowboard Championships last week in Pyhä, Finland. Schultz earned a gold (world champion) in banked slalom, and bronze in boardercross. Photo courtesy
of Natasja Vos. See more photos on page 11.
By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
It was thrilling news a year ago when Kimball native “Monster” Mike Schultz earned a gold and a bronze in the 2018 Paralympics in Korea. It could have been the end of a fulfilling career for 36-year-old Schultz, retiring from competitive sports with a “bang” after such an achievement. But not Schultz.
Instead of retiring from competition and focusing on developing and building prosthetics with his company BioDapt, Schultz set another goal: World Champion in 2019. And it is no surprise to anyone that he achieved that.
At the World Para Snowboard Championships in Pyhä, Finland, Schultz represented Team USA and claimed the world title and a gold medal Thursday, March 28. Teammate Noah Elliott took second with a time barely a half-
second behind Schultz. Chris Vos of the Netherlands was third. Schultz’s competition included 47 other male world-class athletes with lower-limb impairments.
“I still had one more goal after winning Paralympic gold and silver last year, and that was to win at world championships,” Schultz told Brianna Tammaro for Team USA. “I came up a little short a few years ago and, this year, my focus was on world championships here in Pyhä, Finland. It’s been an amazing day of competition, and I’m so pumped to bring home gold for Team USA once again. It feels so good to be world champion.
I like the sound of that, actually.”
Two days later, he was back on the slopes in boardercross where he earned a bronze medal behind Elliott and Vos.
“Another great day of competition for Team USA,” Schultz posted on his Facebook page. “All was going great until I made a mistake in the semi-finals … . Overall I’m pumped with my performance minus the small mistake.”
No matter which goal he sets next, it’s sure that Schultz will achieve it, and in grand style. About Schultz and his many accomplishments, awards, and successes, one can’t help but think, “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”