Family Ski Area in Vermont Has Deep Olympic Legacy

A U.S. Olympian from Vermont is the second generation of his family to represent the country at the Winter Olympics in alpine skiing.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle's trip to the Winter Games this month follows his mother, Barbara Ann; two aunts, Marilyn and Lindy; an uncle, Bob; and a cousin, Jimmy. All of them are past Olympians often called "the skiing Cochrans." Several other members of the family have been on the U.S. Ski Team.

In addition to its athletic history, the Cochrans are also well-known in Vermont for running their family ski area in Richmond, where countless kids have developed a passion for skiing and snowboarding.

"I love what we do here," said Barbara Ann Cochran, a 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist in slalom.

"We get a lot done on our little hill," Lindy Cochran Kelley told the NBC Nightly News this week.

Today, the landmark is a non-profit dedicated to teaching children how to ski and snowboard, and offering low-cost access to families.

"I learned how to ski here, at two years old," Ryan Cochran-Siegle said of his earliest ski lessons, given to him by his mother.

The alpine racer is now about to carry on his family legacy at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, as part of Team USA.

"You have to have a love for the sport and what you're doing," Cochran-Siegle said. "And definitely on top of that, hard work and dedication."

"I do believe that he could podium at the Olympics," Barbara Ann Cochran said of her son. "That would be great. I just didn't want him to feel like that’s what he had to do. You go out to do your best. That's what you do."

That note of encouragement is what instructors at Cochran's tell all the kids — countless thousand by now — who have come to learn at the hill.

"I still have a long way to go," said Molly O'Neil, a 7-year-old second grader from Richmond who said she'd like to be an Olympic skier one day. "It takes practice: turning, going fast, and working harder."

The gentle slopes of Cochran's continue to produce high hopes in aspiring ski racers.

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