We couldn’t have imagined a better birthday present for Sam. Thank you, Macey.
Dear Jackenthal Family,
Today is Sam’s birthday. I think of all of you more often, but never more than today. I think about Sam a lot. I thought about him on February 29 and March 1 in Lake Placid, New York, as I competed in the National Luge race at the Olympic park. I was able to travel to New York, at least in part, because of the scholarship you awarded me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. The scholarship basically paid for my plane ticket, and I really needed the help.
Because I was able to travel to New York for the competition, I was able to compete on a national stage for luge. It was my first time in a national race in Lake Placid. I was competing as one of the youngest girls in the field, against girls who have been luging for a decade. I finished 10th in the nation. And in seeding, I finished 7th. It was good enough to earn me a spot on the National “C” Team, a training team. If Covid cooperates, this year I’ll travel around the world as a representative for the USA. I’ll have the opportunity to train in Lake Placid, Latvia, Whistler Canada, and maybe Switzerland. So you can see what a gift the scholarship was to me. You made all of that possible.
I began by telling you about how I think about you and Sam. Luge wasn’t his sport, but I can’t help but think he would have loved to try it. He would have loved the speed and adrenaline.
I added one of my “Live Like Sam” stickers to my sled, so in a way, I take him with me when I race. And I can tell people about the gratitude scholarship, and how grateful I am for it, when I’m asked about the sticker. Maybe it will make others think about being grateful too. I hope that makes you smile, especially on a day like today.
Thank you so much for spreading kindness and sharing the scholarship with me. I’m so grateful. I owe a great deal to you!