By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
It is now officially winter but, while many of us are already longing for Spring, Monster Mike Schultz has been gearing up (literally) to play hard in the snow.
This past weekend, Schultz raced his snowbike at ERX Motor Park in Elk River (see photo at right). His goal this year: to qualify for the X Games in the Pro class (not Adapted) for the first time since his snowmobile racing accident in 2008 that cost him his left leg. This was the second weekend of qualifications, with the first being at Snowmass, Colo.
Snowbikecross is the sport, and it seems designed just for Schultz: part motorcross, part snowcross, but total bad-ass. Last year was the first year Schultz raced snowbikecross – a fairly new winter sport – and he has taken to it like he has everything else so far: at full bore. In 2018, Schultz was ESPN Winter X Games Snow Bike Qualifier Gold Medalist, and in 2019 he was ESPN Winter X Games Adaptive Snow Bikecross Gold Medalist. To make the jump from adaptive class to pro requires exactly the determination, preparation, and hard work that Schultz puts into everything he does.
Among his many sporting achievements, Schultz earned a gold medal in the 2018 Paralympics in Snowboardcross, as well as a silver medal in Banked Slalom, at Pyeong Chang. He was named “Best Male Athlete with a Disability” at the 2019 ESPY Awards. And, perhaps his most exciting moment, he was chosen to be the flag-bearer for Team USA at the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Paralympics. Schultz is a six-time gold medalist in Snocross in the Winter X Games, and earned several gold and silver medals in Motorcross in the Summer X Games.
Today, he’s taking on Snow Bike. Although he did not earn his spot for X Games Pro snowbike (coming in ninth of 16), he is excited with his performance so far, and will continue to push ahead for bigger and better things. The 2020 season has just begun.
Staff photo by Laurie Kohnen.