Sam Jackenthal was a homegrown hero. By age 15, he had already won the overall combined title at the U.S. Junior Freestyle Championship and was making a name for himself in the USASA Big Mountain West Series. But it was Sam’s character—not just his athleticism—that set him apart. "Sam was not a perfect kid, nor is anyone, but what was exemplary about Sam was when he was presented with his faults, he accepted them and worked to improve and move forward," recalls Park City Ski & Snowboard Freeski Program Director Chris “Hatch” Haslock.
Tragically, at age 16, the rising star suffered a skiing accident in Australia. For three weeks, as he lay in a hospital half a world away, he united the community back home as friends and strangers bonded over shared hope and support. When he succumbed to his injuries, more than 1,300 people attended his Celebration of Life at Utah Olympic Park on October 10, 2015. Now, four years later, the nonprofit, Live Like Sam, livelikesam.org, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have teamed up to create the inaugural “Live Like Sam Day” on October 10.
“Our mission is to flood the internet—and our communities—with kindness and positivity,” says Ron Jackenthal, Sam’s father and founder of the Live Like Sam fund, a local nonprofit, which promotes lasting values of Sam’s legacy while providing young athletes with character-building education and athletic scholarships. To participate in #LiveLikeSamDay: perform acts of kindness, donate used sporting gear, volunteer time, and, then, share that “Live Like Same Day” celebration on social media. As you add your Instas, Snaps, and FaceBooks, look for posts from U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes, such as Mikaela Shiffrin, Alex Hall, Hunter Hess, and Colby Stevenson, who will be sharing their own Live Like Sam moments.
So, this October 10 (and every October 10), live like Sam. Be kind to yourself and to others. Be playful. Let go of judgment, fear, worry. Find compassion, offer a favor, smile at a stranger. Let’s follow Sam’s legacy of positivity and have some fun! Join the Movement.
More information about how you can participate can be found on the livelikesam.org and on social media platforms. Check out Facebook and Instagram to see Olympic and National Team Athletes share their stories of how they Live Like Sam.