When Lauryn Cook walked into the Badger State Games figure skating competition last February in Wausau, she just wanted to perform well.
After the event, not only did she live up to that goal, she was a Badger State Games champion and had earned a spot in the State Games of America.
“I didn’t expect to take first place at the Badger State Games,” Cook said. “I was really happy because this was my first, first place medal and it has always been a goal of mine to make it to the State Games of America.”
Cook took first in the Rhythm Blues competition and third in the final standings.
While the chance to go to the State Games of America is thrilling enough, Cook received another surprise recently. She will be the torch bearer at the games that bring athletes from 31 states to Pennsylvania to compete.
“I sent in the application to be either a torch bearer or a flag bearer and I got selected to be the torch bearer,” Cook said. “You had to send in a biography and they picked out who they thought deserved it, and I won.”
Cook said she isn’t nervous about carrying the torch at the games.
“I am expecting it to be a lot of fun,” Cook said.
In addition to having fun, Cook could be making history as her coach Holly Rose said she could be the first Rhinelander skater to make the State Games of America.
“I don’t believe anyone else has ever gone to the games,” Rose said. “Lauryn is the first.”
That fact has resonated throughout the Rhinelander Ice Arena where Lauryn practices and helps coach younger skaters.
“A lot of the younger skaters have come up to me and said how cool it is that I get to go to the games and carry the torch,” Cook said. “And the skaters that are at my level have told me how happy they are for me.”
The State Games of America will be held this year in the Hershey-Harrisburg, Penn., area July 31 through Aug. 4.
Athletes can compete in 28 sports at the event.