A New Finish Line for Lauren Samuels
Lauren Samuels has always been fast. A dedicated and uncompromising athlete, she was the J2 National super-G and overall champion in 2009 and she raced at the U.S. Nationals and World Juniors in 2012. At age 15, she made the U.S. Ski Development Team, earning a coveted spot as a next-gen future Olympian, while becoming one of just a handful of Black skiers in the history of the U.S. Ski Team.
The same year she won her J2 championship, the high school sophomore attended a preseason fitness testing at the U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence in Park City, UT. When Lauren broke the record for highest vertical jump and crossed the finish line as one of the team’s fastest sprinters, whispers circulated: “Of course she can jump. She’s Black.”
She tried not to let comments like that get to her. “In ski racing, you will lose more races than you win,” Lauren says, now 28. “For every person who says you can’t do it, or that your goal is too high or not possible, there will be multiple other people who will tell you the opposite. I had to find those people.”…