Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Starksboro, VT walked away with the gold on Friday at the 2012 Alpine Junior World Ski Championships for the first U.S. Ski Team medal of the event. As a result, he has earned a downhill start at the World Cup Finals on March 14 in Schladming, Austria.
“Today couldn’t have gone any better for me. This is definitely the biggest win of my career and it’s something I was looking forward to in coming here. I’m glad I was able to execute. It was really sunny and warm and I just wanted to stick to my plan – make sure I had some good elevation above the gates and to press all the jumps,” he said.
From a family of skiing greats, Cochran-Siegle added to his own impressive track record as well as his family’s legacy with his .09-second victory over Swiss Ralph Weber in Roccaraso, Italy. The “Skiing Cochrans,” a family of competitors, now operate a small ski area outside Burlington, VT. The family business was started by Cochran-Siegle’s grandparents and continued with the help of his mother, one of four siblings to ski in the Olympics. Barbara Ann Cochran, Ryan’s mother, topped the podium at the 1972 Olympics for the slalom. Her son wore bib No. 1, the same as his mother at the Sapporo, Japan Olympic Games. And when her son won at the Junior Worlds, Barbara watched from the sidelines.
“It’s special to have my mom her, winning in front of here makes me proud, and by taking the first win it definitely gives me more confidence for the coming races,” he said.
Cochran-Siegle has had a stellar season that has won four NorAm competitions whish puts him first in the standings in both downhill and super G. He also picked up points for the World Cup in the super G in Beaver Creek and Crans Montana.
“My cousin Jess [Kelley] was second in her World Juniors in Italy 10 years ago, but it’s nice to add this medal to our family collection,” he said. “I love to ski around and visit with the families when I’m home, but even if they’re not skiing, it’s cool to see all those kids having a good time.”
The Junior World Championships aren’t over yet. The women’s giant slalom final will be held this Saturday.