Posted by Michael Koh
When she returns to Chapel Hill after taking the semester off, UNC student Emma Schieck will have some extra hardware to show off from her time away: a Paralympic gold medal.
Schieck is a member of the United States national sitting volleyball team, which won gold at this year’s Tokyo Summer Paralympics. Schieck served the winning ace in the gold medal match against China. What was going through her head when she prepared her final serve?
“To be completely honest, nothing. I hardly even remember it,” Schieck told 97.9 The Hill. “I remember the second I realized I was gonna be going in, because my coach had told me a few points before, if Katie [Holloway], number five, our captain, gets back, ‘You’re going in and serving for her.’ And at that moment, I was like, ‘Oh crap. Like, don’t miss this. Don’t mess this up. This is it.’”
Schieck is a junior at Carolina. She said the entire experience of representing Team USA in Tokyo, almost 7,000 miles from her hometown of Statesville, N.C., is one she hasn’t fully taken in yet.
“It was the most surreal thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “It’s still kind of processing. Honestly, it really didn’t hit fully until I got home, and was walking to the airport. And I was like, ‘Wait, this just happened. I just did this. This is the experience I just had.’”
Schieck has permanent nerve damage that prevents her from fully straightening or rotating her left arm, but that didn’t stop her from playing standing volleyball competitively through high school. Schieck cited a need to prove others wrong as a motivating factor.[Read more…] about The Most Surreal Thing I’ve Ever Done’: UNC Student Emma Schieck Reflects on Paralympic Gold Medal