Biathlete and eating disorder survivor Paul Schommer breaks down stigma during quest for 2018 Olympics

Ten years ago, at the age of 15, young sports enthusiast Paul Schommer found himself in a race against time when his father passed away unexpectedly and his battle with anorexia began spiraling out of control. After being hospitalized and undergoing months of unsuccessful therapy sessions, his doctor recommended he receive round-the-clock, residential treatment at the Eating Disorder Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital. At the time, Paul never thought he would compete as an athlete again. Little did Paul know what life would have in store for him after leaving Rogers three months later.

With his eating disorder under control, Paul was free to discover new interests, such as cross country skiing. Paul explains, “What started out as a hobby to help me cope with life turned into a passion, which eventually lead me to biathlon, a sport combining cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship. Upon graduating from college, I began a full-time career as a biathlete with a dream of one day representing our country at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.”

While Paul’s 2018 Olympic journey came to an end just shy of his goal, Rogers was proud to sponsor him, and we couldn’t be more proud of his resilience and dedication to both his health and his sport. To us, he already won the gold. “It has been exciting to work with Rogers this past year,” said Paul. “My goal has been and will continue to be to let others know there is hope, and that no matter what they have done or gone through, there are great things in store for them.”

Watch Paul’s story of pursuing treatment, recovery, and his athletic passions.