SZCZYRK, Poland — Sam Macuga, 22, got her first points at a world cup ski jumping competition sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) on Wednesday, August 9, in Poland. The USA Nordic National Team athlete grew up in Park City.
Ski jumping easily simulates winter conditions while training in the summer on jump hill venues covered in green colored plastic familiar to Park City residents and visitors who see the same sight at the Utah Olympic Park. FIS hosts a summer European Grand Prix circuit.
Sam’s father, Dan Macuga, wrote on social media, “This news has had us smiling for days! She has worked so hard. We couldn’t be prouder!”
Sam isn’t the only Park City Ski and Snowboard Team (PCSS) athlete to get world cup points in the past couple years, she isn’t even the only one in her household. She’s the third sister to reach this prestigious milestone.
A point system exists in the federation, which is headquartered in Switzerland. If an athlete, of any discipline, fails to place in the top 30 of any and all competitions, that athlete fails to gain any points. Less points are awarded for 30th place than for first. First gets the most.
Sam has two sisters, Lauren and Ali Macuga, who’ve already gotten their first world cup points. Lauren in the discipline of alpine, on the “C” Team of the US Ski Team. The 21 year old scored her first world cup points last season in a downhill race in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Ali, 20 yrs old, PCSS/USST in the discipline of moguls in 2022 in Ruka Finland.
All three train at the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City. Although the National Governing Body (NGB) is the same, and all three Macuga sisters are on snow and on skis, the, three sport disciplines may as well be as different as baseball, football, and basketball.
Fourth sibling, Daniel, also the fourth Macuga to attend the Winter Sports School, may be next someday sooner than later as he races FIS-level alpine around the world.
Their mom Amy Macuga is proud of the points. She’s entering her busy time of every year as a managing volunteer for Park City’s JANS Winter Welcome, a fundraiser for the Youth Sports Alliance. She takes in the hundreds of items and experiences donated throughout the public and private sector for live and silent auctions at the Stein Eriksen Lodge. This year’s gala is on October 28.
She told TownLift, “I think it is perfect to mix up the grand prize for the JANS Winter Welcome each year. Last year was more of a beach vacation to one of Park City’s favorite spots, Punta Mita, Mexico. This year, the winner will get to go to the Paris Olympics! The Olympics are already on all our minds in hopes of them coming to Park City sooner than later. To be able to attend the upcoming summer games, would be an amazing experience and something that is not easily organized on your own.”