It's devastating to reflect on the passing of 16 year old freeskier Sam Jackenthal, who left us on October 1st, 2015. Jackenthal was training at Perisher in Australia on September 8th, 2015 when he suffered from a crash that left him in critical condition. Although many of us never met Sam, the impact he had on the ski community and Park City is undeniable. SIP, Sam.
The freeskiing community reflects with heavy hearts on Sam's passing:
"Sam is the best. He was always so funny and excited, not just when he was skiing, but just doing whatever. While Sam's physical self is no longer with us, nothing can take away our experiences with him and our memories of who he was. In this way, Sam is more alive than many people who are physically present. I'm not sure if there are many people who have had as many experiences and deeply affected so many people as Sam did." - NYager
"S.I.P Sam, you were an inspiration to everyone who knew you it seemed! Condolences to everyone who knew him and was a part of his life! He'll be shreddin hard everyday now up there!" -mole.squad
"PC's got you and your family in our minds tonight. Such a rad kid, really hard to comprehend. Jump laps are for you this year, my man. Rest easy and we will see you on the other side." -DeebieSkeebies
"I never met Sam, but from what I've heard from the dozens of posts on instagram every person said he was the nicest, most out going kid. They said they never heard a negative thing come out of his mouth. Ski in peace buddy. #livelikesam" -Zurg
"I never had the pleasure to meet Sam, my thoughts are with his friends and family. I'm sure they have a tough road ahead of them but the great thing about this community is that nobody is left alone. Every time someone passes or is badly injured in our skiing family, there's outrageous support for that person and their family. I think it's a very beautiful thing that we all share a respect and appreciation for each other, and it's difficult to lose a piece of the whole. Seeing that support though, seeing people care for someone they've never met, that's special. With each passing of a member of our community, we reflect upon how amazing their life was and how much they shared with their peers. Each one of you members of the ski community are special, no matter how insignificant of a part of this family you think you are. So keep that passion in your heart and make sure that you let your friends know how vital they are to you, because it's important that you tell them their limitless worth before you lose that opportunity." -Gavin Rudy
"Sam Jackenthal was one of a kind. He never followed the popular trends, he was always himself. One of my first memories of Sam, he must have been no older than 11, is from coaching at the Utah Olympic Park on the trampolines. He was a tiny guy back then with a recognizably high voice. He would pester me non stop asking if he was allowed to send some double backflips. I could only deter him for so long before I gave in. He already had the ability and would land them pretty much every time. From that day to the very last day I got to ski with him his passion never diminished. He was always the most stoked regardless of the conditions. If you weren't having the best day all you had to do was look to Sam and he would bring you right back up with his positive attitude and pure stoke to be doing what he loved to do." -John Kutcher
Sam brought light and love to everyone who knew him -- he made their lives better than before they met. I am comforted knowing that Sam's life was full of everything he loved. He lived to the fullest with passion and enthusiasm -- an unabashed love for life. It was said, "Sam showed us the best qualities within each of us." "In 16 years, Sam figured out how to live life better than most people three times his age." We are fortunate to have been in his presence and have the extreme privilege of knowing and loving such a unique and extraordinary individual. He truly lived a lifetime in 16 years." -Chris "Hatch" Haslock, Team Park City United
More info about Sam's fight can be read on his gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/samjackenthal.