Olympian Sam Schultz Shares The Highs And Lows Of Her Olympic Dream, Hopes To Inspire Others

by Samantha Schultz

Samantha Schultz celebrates at the Pan American Games Lima 2019.


What's Your Why presented by DeVry highlights athlete’s individual motivations that drive them to pursue greatness on their journey to achieve their Olympic & Paralympic dreams.


There are a lot of drivers behind pursuing my Olympic dream. The biggest is my passion for sport. I love to challenge myself to see how far I can push my body or how much I can improve each day physically and mentally. 
I‘m also driven to be an inspiration to others. We are all aspiring towards a goal or a dream whether that is in work, athletics, or any aspect of life. I want to motivate people of all ages to go after their passions and goals. 
It’s important to me to show that my path to achieving my goals has setbacks, failures and injuries too. There are times when I want to give up or am not motivated. 
It’s easy to only show the good times or the successes that I have had. But to get to those moments, it took a lot of trying, failing, crying, feeling hopeless and needing the help of my support system. 
The journey and the people I have met along the way have all been a part of my purpose to either be a person they can impact or vice versa. Every journey in life takes twists and turns. I want to shine a light on that crazy path remain a positive person to keep my head held high no matter what happens. 
Every journey has sacrifices and hardships that we have to persevere through. There are more than just the successes that people see on the big screen. I trust in myself, my training and my support. I know that no matter what the outcome is, I will still have a family, friends, and coaches that will love and support me through anything. 
My family and friends unconditionally support me through everything and have been by my side for this journey to the Olympics. Their love and support drive me to continue to work hard and strive for more.  
On my journey to success, I hope to achieve more than just medals as an athlete. Medals can be a reward for the hard work that is put into training. If I don’t enjoy the journey or learn anything along the way, the medals will not bring me as much joy. 
I want to achieve more milestones at the national and international levels, but I also want to be a role model for those around me both younger and older. I want to help them to achieve their goals and be a positive ambassador for USA Modern Pentathlon, Team USA and the U.S. Army. 
Off the field of play, I believe it is important to always hold myself accountable to my actions and the way I act. I want to remain positive during hard times, but also remain genuine in the fight. 
Showing that you can handle setbacks with grace and composure while maintaining perseverance is important to me not just as an athlete but as a person. I believe these traits are something that I can utilize on an off the field of play as well as in my daily life. 
Part of my success outside of sport also comes from my education. I feel that my education and bachelor’s degree from DeVry University has helped me to become a more well-rounded person. 
It was a challenge to train for five events while going to school, but there was always a support system from my teachers, fellow students, and advisors. Feeling that you have support behind you is incredible. DeVry University has been such a highlight throughout my athletic career. I am so grateful that DeVry University is a supporter for Team USA and all students of any age pursuing their goals and dreams. 
As a multisport athlete I am a huge believer in being well rounded and pursuing multiple passions. Being able to pursue my degree online at a comfortable pace helped me to keep a healthy balance with my training and competitions. It allowed me to have other aspects of my life that I could seek out and aspire to learn about. 
I believe it is important to identify as more than just an athlete and have other opportunities. Being able to pursue a degree helped to give me a bigger perspective to things outside of the athletic world. The lessons I learned and was able to apply with some of my courses was a huge help in my athletic career and got me thinking differently.
I am by no means perfect and continuously working on these aspects of my life. I do not think the work will ever be over. There will always be an area to improve upon or develop in. We must maintain that mindset of growth, but also enjoy the moments that we make improvements big or small.