Live Like Sam and YSA come together every year to honor one special young athlete at the annual Circle of Excellence Awards with the YSA Sam Jackenthal Showstopper Award.
Each of YSA’s seven teams nominates one athlete who stood out with a show-stopping moment — or moments — that left a lasting memory. Whether those moments were incredible “breakout” performances, conquering personal goals, owning a show-stopping wipeout, completing a difficult trick for the first time, or winning with grace and humility, the 2019 finalists were all show-stopping in their own way.
Sixteen-year-old Lauren Macuga, however, shined just a little bit brighter than the rest.
We’d like to congratulate Lauren for not only winning the 2019 YSA Sam Jackenthal Showstopper Award, but also for being selected for the United States Ski Team! To accomplish this long-held goal, Lauren had her fair share of show-stopping moments throughout the season.
Lauren’s Show-stopping Highlights:
- As a first-year FIS athlete, Lauren started the season wearing 98… and placed second in her first race.
- At the highest-level race in North America, held at Sugarloaf in Maine, Lauren competed with World Cup and NorAm circuit veterans. She finished 12th in her first race and improved to 10th in her second.
- To make the US Ski Team, Lauren needed a FIS result lower than 36 with only two races left in the season. The first race was canceled — so Lauren came out strong in her final race of the season, finishing in 3rd in the Giant Slalom to lock in a score of 34 and a spot on the team.
This award was created in the honor of Sam Jackenthal, whose larger-than-life presence was an inspiration to his friends, teammates, coaches and fellow competitors. Show-stopping came naturally to Sam, and in his short 16 years here on Earth, he lived more than most people do in a lifetime.
Just like Sam, Lauren reminds us all to be present, work hard, dream big, laugh often and be grateful for everything you work hard for in life. Congrats, Lauren!
We would like to recognize all of the finalists for the 2019 YSA Sam Jackenthal Showstopper Award — as each and every one of them was show-stopping in their own way this season!
Hannah Baldwin, Figure Skating Club of Park City
Morgan Heavrin, Figure Skating Club of Park City
Andee Lyons, Figure Skating Club of Park City
Brynn Roberts, Figure Skating Club of Park City
Alli Macuga, Park City Ski & Snowboard, Freeski Team
Victoria Olson, Park City Ski & Snowboard, Nordic Team
Zach Selzman, Park City Ski & Snowboard, Nordic Team