Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz talks about his Sports Emmy nomination

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Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz
Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz. Photo Credit: Tim Tidball

Olympic gold medalist wrestler Mark Schultz chatted with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about the Sports Emmy nomination he received for “Outstanding Short Documentary” for “Fightlore: Mark Schultz’s Ultimate Victory.”

How did it feel to score a Sports Emmy nomination for the film?

I was stunned. One of the most amazing things that happened after I saw it the first time was I thought “Wow that’s good” and told the directors Ben Chiliberti and Andrew Nackman “That thing could win an Emmy”. I had no idea if even qualified for an Emmy. All I knew was movies receive Oscars and TV shows receive Emmys.

It wasn’t exactly a TV show but since the movie based on my NY Times best seller “Foxcatcher” was nominated for 5 Oscars, I knew it couldn’t win an Oscar. The only other award I knew about was the Emmy. When the Directors told me it was nominated for an Emmy, we were all shocked. Another amazing coincidence is one of the other films nominated for an Emmy was “Bloodsport” based on the life of my training partner and one of my best friends 3-time NCAA Champion and NFL Pro-Bowl player Carlton Haselrig.

What was your favorite part of the filming experience?

Getting to know the directors and realizing their intention was to tell the truth, unlike the Director of the movie Foxcatcher who was quoted in the Washington Times “My intention from the beginning was to demean and disrespect Mark Schultz.” Everyone asks “why?” I don’t know.

How did it feel to receive all that praise for the film?

It was humbling and in a way sort of a vindication and relief because this film destroys all the lies in the movie “Foxcatcher.” I was worried I might go through my entire life not knowing if people know the truth. Now, because of this film, I’m not worried anymore.

What would you want viewers to get out of the “Fightlore” film?

I would hope it entertains people and perhaps reveals how difficult it was for wrestlers to compete on a world class level against former Soviet bloc countries and other countries that pay their Olympians as professionals. Perhaps exposing the truth will lead to more organizations that want to help US athletes compete like the United States Wrestling Foundation founded by my friend Ken Wellar and Taylor Lukof.

To learn more about Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, follow him on Twitter.