Prepare to feel very good about this family and slightly bad about your own. Olympic skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle just took home silver in the men’s Super-G alpine event (it’s like a downhill race) in Beijing, and appeared on Today to talk about his big win. (You can see the video there.) During the appearance, he got a surprise call from his mom Barbara Ann Cochran, who knows a thing or two about Olympic skiing: She won gold in the women’s slalom in Sapporo, Japan in 1972.
“Congratulations, I’m just so proud Ryan, so proud of you,” said Cochran, almost fifty years to the day after her own moment on the podium. Per Today, Cochran’s three siblings are also Winter Olympians, as is Ryan’s cousin Jimmy Cochran, another skier. So, they’re a pretty athletic family, and yours is not. Sorry!
Cochran recalled staying up to watch her son’s event live even with the time difference between Beijing and Vermont, where the family lives and where she runs a nonprofit ski school. “Everybody else was in bed, everybody else had gone to sleep. I was watching on my laptop, and then started screaming as he was coming down, like really helping him along. ‘Go Ryan! Go Ryan! Go Ryan!'”
After the race, mother and son had an emotional FaceTime call. “I couldn’t hold it together…I think I just wanted to share that moment with [my family], and it was cool. There weren’t very many words coming out of my mouth that I remember. Just so happy and elated that we were all teary-eyed,” recalled Cochran-Siegle.
Adding to the emotion of the day was the fact that only a year ago, Ryan Cochran-Siegle was undergoing surgery to fuse two vertebrae after a crash on the slopes. Like any mom would, Cochran now says a little prayer when her son hits the snow: “So what I’ve taken to doing, started to do now, it’s like every time he’s racing, I talk to the angels,” she said. “I say, ‘OK, Ryan’s racing today, please help him get down safely and healthy, and no more accidents, no more injuries.'”