Fresh off a plane from Tokyo, Mitch Stahl reflects on playing on his first Olympic roster for Team USA Men’s Volleyball. The 26-year-old began playing volleyball as a freshman at Chambersburg Area Senior High School and now
The middle blocker joins The Sports Extra Podcast to talk about his experience in Tokyo, mental health and the pressures of being a pro athlete. Stahl competes internationally as a professional volleyball player, and says playing in the Olympics this summer has reignited his competitive fire.
“There’s a lot of love in this place,” Stahl said of his hometown, Chambersburg. “I’m a Franklin County boy, born and raised. Volleyball is the thing that took me out of here. If it wasn’t for that, I’d still be here.”
Stahl is one of just 12 men on the Team USA Men’s Volleyball roster, playing under his college head coach UCLA’s John Speraw.
“To be apart of that lineage, and to be a part of that Olympian culture,” Stahl begins, “it’s more than just saying ‘hey, I’m an Olympian’ or something like that, it’s the process of becoming an Olympian and getting to that point that I think is so special.”
His volleyball career started at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, where a friend convinced him to try out for volleyball as a freshman. The basketball player had little interest at first, but soon saw success. Winning a state championship with the Trojans in his junior season.
“I love the game,” Stahl said. “I love to compete. I love to be there with the boys, and to have that experience just to fight. I think I bring a lot of passion and energy [to the team].”
The U.S. Men’s Volleyball team ended its Olympic run in pool play with a 2-3 record. Stahl came off the bench in the second and third games, but managed to earn a spot in the starting rotations for the final two games of pool play.
Also in the episode
Plus the podcast talks about the best stories we’ve seen in the summer games. including Simone Biles winning bronze, Caeleb Dressel’s five gold medals and the sportsmanship in track & field.
Meet the voices behind the podcast: Allie Berube and Logan Reever. The Sports Extra Podcast is designed to bring listeners closer to the games, teams and athletes they love. The podcast will dive deeper than the hosts can go on TV.
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The Sports Extra Podcast releases episodes every Thursday. The goal is to talk about national sports with a local flair. Allie & Logan bring guests on each week to share their perspectives on sports.
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