A Vermont community celebrated its Olympic champion with a homecoming parade.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, 29, won a silver medal in the Super G at the Winter Olympics.
Late Saturday afternoon, the parade wound its way through downtown Richmond — featuring fire trucks, young skiers carrying world flags, and Cochran-Siegle riding in the back of a classic VW Beetle convertible.
“Thanks for all the support,” Cochran-Siegle said to his neighbors and friends in an interview Saturday with NECN & NBC10 Boston. “It’s been a wild week and I’m just so happy to be here and celebrating with the rest of Vermont.”
Large crowds waving flags and holding signs cheered for Cochran-Siegle as he rode by — showing them his silver medal.
The athlete also signed autographs at Cochran’s, the nonprofit ski hill started by his grandparents. Its mission is to increase access to youth skiing, and to provide affordable access to race training.
The medalist told kids if they work really hard and keep up with their training, maybe one of them could go to the Olympics some day, too.
“It’s so important to come back here and have a presence just so that I can be tangible to their dreams and goals,” Cochran-Siegle said of being a role model to young people in the sport. “Because, at the end of the day someone it has to win, so why can’t it be any of these guys?”
After some down time with loved ones, Cochran-Siegle said he is going to get right back to competing. He told NECN & NBC10 Boston he wants to increase his world ranking and do everything he can to give himself a shot at another Olympics.
NECN & NBC10 Boston previously reported on the enthusiasm in and around Richmond for the silver medal win. The achievement came nearly 50 years to the day after Cochran-Siegle’s mother won gold in the 1972 Olympics.
Barbara Ann Cochran had a similar homecoming celebration to her son’s after her Olympic victory, locals noted Saturday.