National Junior Skier Dies from Head Injury
After being in a coma since September
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Sam Jackenthal, a 16-year-old U.S. Ski and Snowboard (USSA) Junior Nationals champion who suffered a head injury while skiing at Perisher Ski Resort in Australia on September 8, died on Thursday, according to a statement from the boy’s father on Facebook.
“We believe that while his physical body is no longer with us, his light and spirit will continue to shine bright and bring happiness to us all, just as he always has,” Ron Jackenthal wrote. “It is our hope that his incredible drive, compassion, and passion for life can inspire others to live life to the very fullest.”
Sam was a member of Team Park City United in Park City, Utah. Longtime coach Chris “Hatch” Haslock told Outside that Jackenthal was skiing with friends in-bounds when he over-rotated off a jump and struck his head on the landing. He was later put into a medically induced coma.
“I am comforted knowing that Sam’s life was full of everything he loved,” Hatch wrote on the team Facebook page. “He lived to the fullest with passion and enthusiasm—an unabashed love for life.”
A GoFundMe page was set up following his injury. It has raised more than $108,000 for medical and living expenses.
“On behalf of Perisher Ski Resort, Park City Mountain Resort, and the entire Vail Resorts family, we extend our deepest sympathy to Sam’s family, friends, and fellow teammates of Team Park City United,” Kelly Ladyga, vice president of corporate communications for Vail Resorts Management Company, which owns Perisher, told Outside.
Watch highlights from Jackenthal’s final season below: