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U.S. skier wins Olympic silver in Beijing, half a century after his mom won gold

Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Team United States skis during the Men's Super-G at the Beijing Olympics. He nabbed silver behind Austria's Matthias Mayer who won gold.
Sean M. Haffey
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Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Team United States skis during the Men's Super-G at the Beijing Olympics. He nabbed silver behind Austria's Matthias Mayer who won gold.

BEIJING — Fifty years after his mom won a gold medal skiing at the Winter Olympics in Japan, Ryan Cochran-Siegle captured silver on Tuesday in the super-G alpine event in Beijing.

He blasted to a second-place finish, just 0.04 seconds behind Matthias Mayer of Austria.

"Love the aggressive attack plan," said Bode Miller, who won five Olympic medals including gold skiing for the U.S., while commenting on Twitter. "He's gotta be proud of the way he skied today."

Cochran-Siegle, 29, comes from a sports dynasty that has sent a total of six athletes to the Winter Games, including his mother, 1972 gold medalist Barbara Cochran. They also started a ski area in Richmond, Vt.

Four years ago, when he headed to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, he said he wasn't quite ready to live up to his family's Olympic legacy.

"I'm obviously not anywhere near close to being at the podium," Cochran-Siegle said at the time, in an interview with Vermont Public Radio.

But on Tuesday, he laid down a scorching-fast run, after recovering from a brutal ski crash last year that left him with a fractured neck.

Cochran-Siegle's strong finish comes as the U.S. ski team faces a frustrating start in Beijing. Mikaela Shiffrin crashed in her first outing.

Only one other American skier has reached the podium so far, with Jaelin Kauf capturing silver in women's moguls.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Team USA's Ryan Cochran-Siegle celebrates his silver medal in the Super G at the Beijing Olympics. He's the sixth member of his family to compete at an Olympics.
Alex Pantling / Getty Images
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Team USA's Ryan Cochran-Siegle celebrates his silver medal in the super-G at the Winter Olympics. He's the sixth member of his family to compete at an Olympics.

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Brian Mann