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PARK CITY, Utah — Eight athletes, seven teams, six schools, five sports, four parents, three years until the Olympics, two families, and one common denominator- the Youth Sports Alliance (YSA).
When any town around the globe wins their Olympic bid and starts the exciting preparations to host the world, it’s own community athletes who are current Olympians are approximately in their 20s thus not necessarily the prime age to represent their hometown in the average seven to ten years it takes for those home Games to occur. Enter the YSA.
Nonprofits take different names around the globe when created out of the influx of funding which becomes injected by fund-granting entities affiliated with the International Olympic Committees (IOC) directly into the youth development movement of local sports. After all, no mater what corner of the world the Olympics is held, the IOC strives to involve the local community in the ownership, agency and pride of working, volunteering, spectating, and competing, before, during, and after their Games.
After the Olympics are hosted, the grants are no longer as readily available form global resources and funding falls upon supportive donations from local people and businesses that enjoy organizations like YSA.
People are acutely aware of the youngest YSA participants in the Get Out and Play (GOAP) Program in which all the following athletes joined, among thousands and the oldest YSA participants including approximately 100 Olympians. But there’s a bumper-crop of talented, passionate athletes aged right in the middle.
One way to take a snapshot of the robust and vibrant Park City youth sports life is to break it down by the numbers.
- Sam Macuga, 22 yrs old
- Lauren Macuga, 20 yrs old
- Alli Macuga, 19 yrs old
- Daniel Macuga, 17 yrs old
- Macey Schomaker, 18 yrs old
- Madeline Schomaker, 15 yrs old
- Molly Schomaker, 13 yrs old
- Miriel Schomaker, 10 yrs old
YSA has 7 teams under its umbrella
- Park City Ski and Snowboard
- Figure Skating Club of Park City
- Park City Ice Miners Hockey
- Wasatch Freestyle Skiing
- Park City Speed Skating Club
- Utah Olympic Park Skeleton and Bobsled
- Wasatch Luge Club
- Dartmouth – Sam
- Colorado University, Boulder – Alli
- Winter Sports School, Park City – Daniel
- Treasure Mountain Jr. High – Madeline
- Ecker Hill Middle School – Molly
- Trailside Elementary School – Miriel
- Ski Jumping (USA Nordic National Team) – Sam
- Alpine, Speed (US Ski and Snowboard C Team) – Lauren
- Freestyle Moguls (US Ski and Snowboard A Team) – Ali
- Alpine (Park City Ski and Snowboard FIS Team) – Daniel
- Luge (USA Luge Jr. Ntnl/Devo Team) – Macey/Molly, Miriel
- Rhea Schomaker, research scientist/PCSD substitute teacher
- Kevin Schomaker, robotics engineer
- Amy Macuga, volunteer
- Dan Macuga, USANA Health Sciences Executive
Three years until next Winter Olympics:
- 2024 South Korea Youth Olympic Winter Games
- 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games
- 2026 Milan Cortina Winter Olympic Games
- Officiate kids’ sports, sit on sport org boards
- Volunteer for YSA’s fundraiser JANS Winter Welcome
One common denominator:
- Youth Sports Alliance
“YSA recognizes active athletes through our annual Circle of Excellence Awards ceremony. These awards recognizes the top 5% in achievement for each YSA partner team,” Emily S. Fisher, Youth Sports Alliance executive director told TownLift. “More importantly, we provide need-based scholarships to athletes. We don’t just celebrate those athletes who make it to the top, we believe in and support so many young people in our community to ensure that they all have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”