Athlete Profile: Michael Schallinger

Name:  Michael Schallinger
Sport:  Nordic Skiing
Hometown:  Vachendorf, Germany
Major:  Mechanical engineering
Year in School:  Junior
How long involved in skiing:  Since the age of five.

What are the different races in which you compete?
A 10 km race one day and a 20 km race the next.

Why did you begin skiing?
My parents sent me to ski practice as a kid and my dad liked to take me out on the mountain.

What is your favorite thing about skiing, and why?
It is fun to be out and exercise.

What is your motivation before a competition?
The competition itself is motivation enough. I just race as fast as I can and try to get on the podium.

Are you planning to continue competing after graduation?
Not on a professional basis. I would like to, but there is a lack of opportunity back home.

What do you think is the key to your success as a student athlete?
Dedication to both school and sports and combining the two. You have to make sacrifices in other areas, such as your private life. It is especially hard during the season when you’re gone from school competing and working out between races, and then have to come back and catch up.

Do you have any awards or achievements you have received while involved in skiing?
Two third place finishes in the NCAA qualifiers last year. One third place finish in the NCAA qualifiers so far this year.

Why did you come to MSU?
I transferred from Anchorage, Alaska  my freshman year. I came here for a race and fell in love with the place. It was a good decision.

Do you have any other hobbies/activities/interests?
Fly-fishing, backcountry skiing and photography.

What is your favorite class at MSU and why?
Manufacturing processes. It was a great hands-on experience and was fun overall.

Is there anything else you would like to tell students/readers about MSU skiing?
We are hosting the NCAA championships and Regionals in Bozeman at the Bohart Ranch in March.