Team USA’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle won silver in the men’s super-G event on Tuesday, bringing USA’s medal count to 4.
His medal comes 50 years after his mom, Barbara Ann, won the gold in slalom at the 1972 Sapporo Games.
Cochran-Siegle almost brought home USA’s first gold medal but was 0.04 seconds short of Austrian Matthias Mayer’s time of 1:19.94.
Cochran-Siegle’s explosive performance saw him beat out other favored skiers including Norway’s Aleksandr Kilde, who placed third.
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“Today I was trying to bring a little more intensity, really charging, and taking advantage of the opportunity.”
For Cochran-Siegle, just being at the Beijing Games is an achievement after he was the victim of a horrifying crash on the feared Streif course in Kitzbühel, Austria, a year ago. A fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra of his spine meant that he didn’t get back on skis until May and didn’t resume full training until August.
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“365 days ago, I was walking out of a bed from neck surgery. It’s special. As an athlete, you’re always charging, always trying to get better. Sometimes you can use it as fuel. It’s just never giving up on yourself.”
“I totally believed in him. I knew he was capable of it. It’s just, you never know on any given day whether or not that’s going to happen. I’m just so proud. I knew he was capable. I didn’t know if it would happen, but I knew he was capable,” said his mom.