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Park City ski racer takes bronze in World Junior Alpine Ski Championships

Park City's Lauren Macuga (left) celebrates her bronze medal in downhill at the World Junior Championships
Amy Macuga
Park City's Lauren Macuga (left) celebrates her bronze medal in downhill at the World Junior Championships

Park City resident Lauren Macuga won the bronze medal in downhill Thursday competing at the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in Panorama, British Columbia, Canada.

As a kid, Lauren Macuga tried all the sports offered by the Youth Sports Alliance’s Get Out and Play programs...alpine skiing was her favorite. She worked her way through the ranks of the Park City Ski Team and is a graduate of The Winter Sports School in Park City. The 19-year-old was named to the U.S. Alpine Ski Development Team in 2019.

Competing at the World Junior Championships this week in Canada, Macuga was just .25 of a second off the winning time in Thursday’s downhill race. She won the bronze medal. She’ll also be competing in the Super G, Alpine Combined and Giant Slalom.

One of her former coaches on the Park City Ski Team, Jay Hey, who coaches the FIS level racers, told KPCW he’s proud of her accomplishment and hard work.

“It’s definitely rewarding,” Hey said. “I mean, Park City in general, we're proud of her. You know, there’s a lot of coaches that had a big impact on her before she even got to me. From my perspective, you try to teach her a little bit more reality of what the court is at the highest level. When they're at the youth 16 level, youth 14 level, they're just like, a big fish in a little pond. And then, as I managed her throughout the season, from my side, I was trying to expose her to what it’s like the highest level and what it took to be elite and to make it to the highest level and she took that with a lot of heart and dedication and work ethic.”

Macuga competed in her first alpine world cup race last December at Lake Louise. She has had several top-10 finishes in NorAm races as well this season.

Macuga is one of three members of her family racing at the national team level. Her old sister Sam is a ski jumper and younger sister Alli is a moguls skier.