Ryan Cochran-Siegle captures shocking silver medal

It took 50 years, but the Cochran family earned another Olympic medal.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the son of 1972 gold medalist Barbara Cochran, shocked his way to second place in the super-G on Monday night.

Cochran-Siegle’s time of 1:19.98 down the slopes — passing through wide gates in an event that combines speed and technical ability — was four-hundredths of a second behind Austria’s Matthias Mayer, who became the first man to win an Alpine skiing gold in three straight Olympics.

“What’s up Vermont? I hope it holds!” the 29-year-old said on the NBC broadcast before other racers had finished competing.

The Vermont native’s best finish in Pyeongchang was 11th in the giant slalom, and not many would have guessed Cochran-Siegle would be the first American to medal in men’s downhill in eight years.

His mom might have.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle took home silver in the super-G.
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Ryan Cochran-Siegle
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“I totally believed in him. I knew that he was capable of doing it,” Barbara said on NBC. “You never know on a particular day whether or not it’s going to happen. I’m just so proud.”

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His run was near perfect and had positioned him for gold before Mayer knocked him off. Cochran-Siegle crossed the line, smiled and spread his arms upon glancing at the time on the clock. Fifty years later, a Cochran would be on the stage again.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Ryan Cochran-Siegle celebrates after his run.
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In January 2021, Cochran-Siegle — always seeking more speed — went too hard and crashed in the Kitzbuehel (Austria) downhill, breaking his neck. He returned to Vermont for surgery to fuse vertebrae.

He was back on the slopes by May. The following February, he is an Olympic medalist.

“I think 365 days ago, I was walking out of a bed from neck surgery, so it’s special,” he said on the telecast. “As an athlete you’re always charging and always trying to get better and use it as fuel and just never giving up on yourself.”

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