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00000179-c810-d4c2-a579-fdd2fe840003The 2018 Winter Olympics kick off Feb. 8 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and over a dozen Olympians have ties to Vermont, with many more having trained or gone to school here.In fact, Vermont is tied for sixth among states sending the most Olympic athletes in Team USA this year (Colorado takes first, in case you were curious!)Meet The 2018 Vermont OlympiansTo help you keep track of local athletes as they compete in Pyeongchang, we've gathered their bios by team:Alpine Skiing | Biathlon | Bobsleigh & Luge | Cross-Country Skiing | Freestyle Skiing | Ice Hockey | Snowboard We'll be keeping track of the results every weekday morning on the Sports Report and on VPR's Facebook and Twitter accounts.Vermonter Mikaela Shiffrin at last year's Alpine Skiing World Championships. Her first event in Pyeongchang is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 12.

Second Generation Vermont Olympian, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, To Compete In First Olympics

Steven Kornreich
US Ski and Snowboard
Ryan Cochran-Siegle skis in the Super G 2017 Audi Birds of Prey Alpine World Cup at Beaver Creek Creek, CO.

One Vermonter heading to PyeongChang this month is an alpine skier with a name that evokes its own bit of Olympic history. Ryan Cochran-Siegle's mother Barbara Ann Cochran won gold in the 1972 Olympic slalom. Now Cochran-Siegle, 25, who grew up in Starksboro is competing in his first Olympics.

Cochran-Siegle won gold in the 2013 Junior World Championships. But after that victory, he was sidelined by a torn ACL, and missed out on two ski seasons and the 2014 Olympic trials.

"When you blow your knee it's a pretty severe traumatic injury, and so it's definitely emotional. And I had obviously still wanted to continue my season at that point but I was unable to," he said, from Europe where he was training ahead of the games.

"And that's pretty heartbreaking as an athlete. But I was just trying to stay positive throughout it and just kept moving forward."

Meet The 2018 Vermont Olympians

Alpine Skiing | Biathlon | Bobsleigh & Luge| Cross-Country Skiing| Freestyle Skiing | Ice Hockey | Snowboard

"But ... when I was ready to come back I was kind of like, 'Well, am I going to be able to still compete at the level that I was at before?' and I think I'm still kind of initially, like just mentally trying to get over the fact that I was injured for so long." 

I found one of our Olympians good luck signs from r/vermont

"And what I've had to come through like I mean pretty much just knowing how physical this sport can be. It's tough to get over it and really just like allow yourself to fall down now a mountain, in a good way."

Cochran-Siegle says his goal in PeyongChang is to compete well.

Credit US Ski And Snowboard
US Ski And Snowboard

"Just based on like World Cup results, I'm obviously not been anywhere near close to being at the podium," says Cochran-Siegle. "And I think a lot of people — not that they expect a podium finish — but that's kind of the biggest honors of going the Olympics."

"So I don't know that I'd really want to put that pressure on me, of trying to just go there just to get a medal. I think there's a lot more to offer," he said. "That being said — I do think my skiing is capable to the point where if I put together two runs it's hard to say what could happen. You never really know with skiing."

Many people back in Vermonters and at his family's ski area in Richmond will be rooting for Cochran-Siegle in the Alpine Combined and Super G, including his family, who isn't traveling to PeyongChang.

Cochran-Siegle says he doesn't mind that his family's ski history and his mother's gold medal are always mentioned along with his own.

Credit Bob Rick Chaffee / Wire/Public Domain
Wire/Public Domain
Cochran-Siege's mom Barbara Cochran in 1972 when she won Olympic gold.

"It just shows what she's been able to accomplish and how successful she was as a ski racer, for her to have been able to do that," he said.

"I think growing up with that it has also allowed me to pursue similar goals and to believe in myself the same way that my mom was able to believe in [herself].

"I've always loved that: The fact that she's been so successful and well-known. It's kind of she's kind of paved the way for the rest of us."

And he's grateful for the support of the state that he's proud to call home.

"I love Vermont, absolutely. It's my favorite place to be. I always call it home.

"And I think it's cool that such a small state can have such competitive ... spirit; to be able to create such so many Olympians relative to its size. So I think it's an incredibly special place and I'm super happy to be a part of it."

Explore More Olympics 2018 Coverage

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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