In true Montana fashion, we take great pride in a hometown kid chasing his dream—especially when that dream is to be the best cross-country mountain biker in the world.
If you don’t know Missoula’s Sam Schultz, he has one heck of a back story. It comes in three parts:
Sam’s story is the classic tale of a small-town Montana kid who discovered his passion for riding a mountain bike at a young age. “I wasn’t very good,” he admits, but through his joy for the ride and a relentless determination, he improved. A lot. In 2012, Sam won a national title in cross country and placed 15th at the Olympic Games in London.
Sam’s magical run in 2012 was lined with pain. After years of fighting an aching back, in early 2013, Sam learned he had severe degeneration in a lower disc. But like everything else he does in his life, he attacked rehab and recovery with everything he had. If there was a non-surgical solution, Sam gave it a shot—oftentimes multiple shots—with little to no success. Left with no other options, Sam went under the knife to repair his back. Recovery was slow and painful, and in 2014 he underwent a second surgery which revealed a nasty infection in his disc space and necessitated an extended 24/7 antibiotic therapy. A 48-inch line delivered the antibiotics to his heart, eventually killing the infection in his spine.
After being cleared by physicians, Sam did what he does best: He got back on his bike and started pedaling. His journey back to the race course has been far from easy—but it’s also far from over. Even with a top-10 finish in his first race back this season, and Big Air prime last weekend, Sam knows he’s got an uphill battle ahead of him. He also knows he’ll give it everything he’s got without leaving behind an ounce of regret.
No one, including Sam himself, knows how this story will end, but his journey embodies many of ideals we stand for at Big Sky Brewing Company. And knowing Sam Schultz, and what he represents, we’re proud to drink a beer to that.