American skier Cochran-Siegle’s setback fuels Olympic motivation

SÖLDEN, Austria (AP) — After recovering from a broken neck, Ryan Cochran-Siegle lastly returned to the World Ski Championships…

SÖLDEN, Austria (AP) — After recovering from a broken neck, Ryan Cochran-Siegle lastly returned to the World Ski Championships after 275 days, although his look on Sunday was cut back to a single run.

The American missed qualifying for the second leg of the large slalom that opens the season by a hundredth of a second.

Getting beat by the smallest doable margin usually means heartbreak for any skier, nonetheless Cochran-Siegle was quick to take the positives out of the adversity.

A minimal of he was racing as soon as extra — in a season that options the Beijing Olympics in February.

“I assumed I was snowboarding properly, I was merely holding on an extreme quantity of,” said the 29-year-old Vermont native, son of 1972 Olympic slalom champion Barbara Cochran.

“The conditions, along with the power of every totally different skier proper right here, are literally aggressive, and I merely wanted to convey additional on this run.”

Cochran-Siegle liked his breakthrough season ultimate yr, collectively along with his first World Cup win in a super-G in Italy in late December, until a horrific crash on one in every of many world’s most dangerous descents modified the whole thing.

He misplaced his steadiness when he leaned once more all through a soar on the Streif in Kitzbühel, slipped off track and made his technique via the doorway row of safety nets. He wanted to be transported from the hill by helicopter.

Quite a lot of days later, Cochran-Siegle traveled once more to the States with a neck brace, nonetheless hopeful that he might race as soon as extra that season.

However, the fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra of the spine wouldn’t heal by itself.

“At first of February I merged the C6 and C7. The surgical process went fairly properly, after which it was like I rested and didn’t do so much for two months,” Cochran-Siegle said.

As quickly because the merger was robust, he returned to snowboarding in Might.

“Then this summer season I had a full block of teaching in (Swiss resorts) Zermatt and Saas-Cost, which was good,” he said.

With the tempo disciplines downhill and super-G as his strongest events, a comeback on one in every of many circuit’s hardest massive slalom hills would on a regular basis be an issue.

“The place I’m is okay. There could also be really work to be carried out and I acknowledge that. Proper this second is an efficient check-in, nonetheless it’s not the place I want to be,” said Cochran-Siegle.

The injury pressured him out of the highlight of the season: the World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, ultimate February.

It makes him far more excited to go to the Beijing Olympics in merely over three months.

“Setbacks are good motivators, you try to return once more stronger than sooner than,” said Cochran-Siegle. “Understanding I was snowboarding at that diploma and trusting that I’ll get once more there as soon as extra, that’s the place my focus is. I want to return to that sort of limitless snowboarding and have satisfying too.”

Although the neck injury not hinders him bodily, it’s nonetheless in the back of his ideas.

“The one barrier is additional psychological, it’s not about accidents, it’s about desirous to hold out properly,” said Cochran-Siegle. “I’ve to maintain that to beat that, trusting throughout the therapeutic. I’m healthful and I do comprehend it.”


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