June 02, 2023 | at the FISU Summer University World Games
21-year-old Mateo Schärer-Gonzalez belongs to the elite of Swiss archers. He will attend the Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games in July.
The EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) student athlete started archery some five years ago, quite by accident. “We were on holiday in Italy with my family and archery was one of the things we could do in the area,” he recalls. “From the very beginning, I told my parents that I wanted to do this every day.”
“Mateo has a very strong mind and when he says something, he says it 100 percent,” says his mother Carla. This probably explains his dazzling progress.
“What I like about archery is the unique and simple movement. It’s not like soccer or volleyball where you have a lot of moves. We only have one, it’s always the same, but it requires extreme precision,” adds Mateo.
Every day at the World Archery Excellence Center in Lausanne, he spends a lot of time to carefully analyze his technique on video, perfecting details that are imperceptible to the untrained eye. He then fires hundreds of arrows.
“His strengths are primarily the perseverance and resilience he shows in training, both physically, technically and mentally,” says Mateo’s coach, Howard Catherine.
“He always wants to do more. He is also a great perfectionist, but sometimes this can be his weakness. In order to grow, he will have to accept doing things simply, not necessarily striving for perfection.
His devotion to archery is matched only by his devotion to the study of the natural sciences. In the future, he sees himself doing research in a lab. But for now, he has to manage his dual career.
“That was the hardest part,” admits Mateo. “Finding the right balance between sport and study, and harmonizing and scheduling these two activities is extremely difficult.”
“But he’s done a great job in that area, and I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished,” his mother points out.
The Swiss archer is now focused on getting fit for D-Day. Chengdu 2021 FISU Games is his main goal for this year.
“It’s such a beautiful sport, simple, relaxing. And the feeling of shooting a 10 under pressure, with the wind, is unparalleled,” he says with a sparkle in his eyes.
Chengdu 2021 FISU World University Games will be held from July 28 to August 8, and the archery competition will start on July 27 and end on July 31. It will be live www.fisu.tv
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