Interview with ski racer Ryan Cochran-Siegle

Davos Klosters Mountains supports ski racer Ryan Cochran-Siegle during the World Cup season. Between official races, the US athlete recovers at his home away from home in Davos. He grew up in a small ski resort in Vermont (USA). In the following interview, he tells us more about his passion for winter sports and the challenges of being a ski racer.

Avatar of a blond young woman with blue eyes and nose piercing | © Davos Klosters Mountains
Franziska Krenmayr
© Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images


13 questions for ski racer Ryan Cochran-Siegle

  • Name: Ryan Cochran-Siegle
  • Origin: Vermont, USA
  • Date of birth: 27 March 1992 (31 years old)
  • Disciplines: giant slalom, super-G, downhill, combined
  • Biggest success: silver in super-G at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing

We meet Ryan for our interview at the cosy lounge of Mountain Plaza Hotel, where Ryan is staying. He has just returned from skiing on the Jakobshorn and is delighted with the quality of the snow there.

1. What was your first impression of Davos Klosters?

Davos Klosters is what you would call a skier’s paradise. Perfect skiing holidays simply come naturally here. The people of Davos are very friendly, and everything is so accessible. The town of Davos is surrounded by mountains that are kept as natural as possible. Skiing in these mountains is a dream come true for skiers like me.

2. What do you like about skiing in Davos Klosters??

I’m blown away by the terrain that’s available. The snow quality is perfect, and you can make super nice turns, where your energy flows directly into your skis. I think Davos has so much to offer for all types of skiers. You have training areas especially for racers and also nice recreational slopes. For families or beginners, there are easy downhill routes at the beginners’ area, and off-piste skiing is also possible.

3. Do you have a favourite ski run in Davos?

I don’t know all ski areas of Davos Klosters yet. Right now, my favourite is the new run number 42 at Jakobshorn. It reminds me of the Gran Risa run at Alta Badia ski area in South Tyrol, with its stylish, steep and winding course through the trees. I’m impressed with the terrain, too. It’s so rare that you get a steep run with a terrain that allows you to play with it.

4. What do you like about skiing?

To me, skiing means different things. On the one hand, it’s obviously the job I earn money with. However, it’s also the sport that allows me to express myself most. It’s so ingrained in me that I can connect with the sport whether I’m racing in a World Cup or going free skiing.

Plus, skiing also has a historic meaning for me because my family has such a long tradition of skiing. Having this strong kind of connection is really special. I come from a place where we live and breathe skiing.

5. How did you start skiing?

My mom taught me how to ski around the age of two. We own a small ski area, so we could go skiing every winter.

I kind of got to grow into the sport. I have an older sister and eight older cousins who all live nearby. Learning to ski at a young age, I was able to chase them around the mountain. I’ve been skiing for as long as I can remember, it’s always been a part of me.

For me, skiing is a lifestyle.

6. What is special about the ski area, you grew up in?

Cochran is a small ski area in Vermont that is run by my uncle. It’s a non-profit organisation that’s not aimed at generating income, but at enabling young people and families to go skiing and snowboarding.

The ski area is my home. I remember playing there as a kid, building jumps and making little trails in the woods. It’s also where I learned to become a ski racer. A lot of my character and personality were shaped by growing up there.

7. You grew up in a family of alpine ski racers. Have you always wanted to be a ski racer?

A part of me definitely always knew that I wanted to be a ski racer. I grew up listening to my mom, my uncle and my two aunts telling stories about their time in the World Cup, travelling around Europe and skiing at all these amazing places. In my family, it wasn’t expected that you should follow in their footsteps. It was simply a case of being in an environment that facilitated this career choice. My family had so much knowledge about what it took to become a good ski racer. I’ve been fortunate to follow a very similar career path to my mom and her siblings. It’s nice to share this experience.

I’ve always loved skiing and going as fast as possible. You need that fire inside of you to keep pushing yourself.

As a ski racer, I’m living my dream. I know that it won’t last forever, but I’m trying to enjoy it for as long as I can.

8. What is your passion besides skiing?

Skiing can be a very intense sport. Apart from my sport, I like to take it easy. I enjoy reading and I like to take photos.

When I’m home, I try to spend as much time as possible with the people I care about most, especially knowing that I’m away from them for much of the year. I like to do things with my girlfriend Jessie, my dog, my family and my close friends. During winter, this could be having dinner together or going skiing. In summer, we spend a lot of time outdoors, at the lake, or we go mountain biking or hiking.

9. What does a World Cup winter look like for you?

The World Cup calendar varies every year. But I usually travel to Europe in December and stay there until the end of February, going from one hotel to the next. It’s very nice to have Davos as a home away from home, to relax and get away from the World Cup madness.

I am very grateful for the support of Davos Klosters Mountains and for the opportunity to stay in Davos Klosters during race breaks.

10. How do you spend your time in Davos and the breaks between races?

I’ve just returned from Kitzbühel, so the last two weeks have been quite mentally and physically demanding. That’s why I want to take the time to recover in Davos and to make the most of everything the Mountain Plaza has to offer. I’m planning to spend a lot of time at the spa, the sauna and the swimming pool.

In addition, I’ll be heading to the mountains to do some non-competitive skiing. I want to enjoy the simple pleasure of skiing instead of trying to go as fast as possible. It’s important to rebuild that love and passion for skiing.

11. What is your secret, why are you so talented at skiing?

Obviously, it takes a lot of work, focus and specific training. But on top of that, you need a sense of hunger to be able to push yourself every day. The most important thing is to keep that love and passion for the sport alive. Success can only be achieved if that inner drive takes you there.

12. What are your next goals for this winter season?

At the beginning of the season, it’s mostly about enjoying every race and about trying to come out healthy. I really think that’s key. Now that I have a few races under my belt, I feel like I’m building confidence. The next step is to try and achieve as much speed and power as possible in every turn.

I stopped setting myself a specific goal for the season. Over time, I tended to focus more on the results than on the actual feeling I want skiing to give me – a feeling that also pushes me to go fast.

13. Do you have a favourite race?

I really enjoy the downhill run in Val Gardena in Italy. The course is unique and built in such a way that you can play with the terrain. It also has its challenges, but it’s not quite as scary as other tracks like Bormio or Kitzbühel.

There are so many races I haven’t done yet, so it’s hard to know what to expect.

We are looking forward to Ryan Cochran-Siegle’s upcoming downhill races and wish him lots of success in the World Cup. Stay tuned for plenty more exciting projects with him in the future!

Make the Mountain Plaza Hotel your starting point for unforgettable skiing adventures and experience the passion of skiing! The hotel staff is looking forward to your stay.

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