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Starksboro’s Cochran-Siegle wins silver medal

“Just really appreciating that I’m here and able to accomplish my childhood dream on a day like today. It’s a lot of really good and positive emotions.”
— Ryan Cochran-Siegle

STARKSBORO — On Feb. 8, Vermont skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle won Olympic silver in the super-G at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

The 29-year-old Starksboro resident won his medal almost 50 years to the day his mother, Barbara Ann Cochran, snagged gold at the 1972 Olympic competition in Sapporo, Japan.

Cochran-Siegle skied “a near perfect run,” according to Rutland writer Peggy Shinn, a reporter for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s website, TeamUSA.org. Cochran-Siegle’s time of 1 minute, 19.98 seconds was only four-hundredths of a second behind the winner, defending 2018 gold medalist Matthias Mayer of Austria.

“Part of me recognized that I was skiing well, and trusting that, and just fighting all the way to the finish,” Cochran-Siegle was quoted by Shinn after the race. “It’s definitely a special, special run.”

Cochran-Siegle was raised at his family’s Cochran’s ski area in Richmond, which his grandfather Mickey Cochran started by installing a rope tow in his backyard.

“Happy, relieved, a little bit of proud,” Cochran-Siegle said when asked about medaling like his mother. “Just really appreciating that I’m here and able to accomplish my childhood dream on a day like today. It’s a lot of really good and positive emotions.” USA Today deemed Cochran-Siegle’s victory a “surprise” in part because the skier broke his neck in a downhill racing crash just a year ago.

“You dream of these moments,” he was quoted by Shinn. “You see it in your mind and at times you have to put it away because you have to just focus on the skiing. That was what I was doing today. … I think this was the best second place that I’ll ever get in my life.”

The silver medal finish came a day after Cochran-Siegle finished 14th — the top American — in the Men’s Downhill. On Sunday, Feb. 13, Cochran-Siegle did not finish in his first run in the Giant Slalom race, and was out of the competition.

Another Olympic skier with a local connection is Ali Nullmeyer. The Middlebury College junior competed for Canada in the Women’s Slalom on Feb. 9. She finished in 21st place, moving up from 23rd after her first run down the course by cutting more than a second off her time.

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