Meet Pauline Schäfer

Pauline Schäfer still seems a little emotional when we talk about her bronze medal win on the beam at the 2015 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Glasgow. Known for her audacity—she has an element in her name in the FIG’s Code of Points—the German gymnast hopes to surprise the world once again this year in Montréal.

Pauline Schäfer

 Tell us about how you started out in gymnastics.
I started gymnastics at the age of 5. At the time, I was in a small club named TV Pflugscheid Hixberg.

What are your greatest qualities as an athlete? What do you need to work on?
I think I have a good sense of movement and good spatial orientation. I am also very ambitious and I am a perfectionist. Most of the time, it’s a good thing, but sometimes I can be too hard on myself. I get more and more demanding of myself, and it can be hard to achieve even my own standards.
I also need to work on my perspective of things. Sometimes, I can be too negative. I am also very scared of doing backward movements. I develop a mental block and it limits my training.

 You won the bronze medal on the beam at the 2015 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Glasgow. What are your best memories of this competition?
It was amazing to compete in Glasgow. The crowd was terrific, and the whole competition was very well organized. It’s funny because that was not my best beam routine. Winning a bronze medal in the final proved to me that everything is possible. I remember having a lot of mixed emotions. I never dreamed of making the podium. It was an amazing feeling.

What is the greatest achievement of your career as a gymnast? What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of every step of my journey. From the little 5-year-old gymnast to the bronze world medalist to the Olympic athlete.

What are your goals for 2017? Can we hope to see you at the World Championships in Montréal?
Yes of course, it’s my ultimate goal for this year! I want to be part of it!

Have you ever been to Montréal? What are you most excited to see?
I’ve never been to Montréal before. I would like to see the historic old city and the Notre-Dame Basilica.


More about you…

Favourite song I don’t have a favourite song, I just listen to the top songs on the radio.
Favourite TV show I rarely watch TV.
Guilty pleasure Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
Favourite place on earth At home, with my family, my three dogs and my cat.
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