Robby Kelley and Ryan Cochran Siegle may have different names but they have a lot in common, starting with the fact that both are bad-ass ski racers from a tiny ski hill, Cochran’s in Richmond, Vt.
And this week, the two cousins, members of ski racing’s first family, the Cochrans (of Cochran’s ski hill in Richmond, VT — see Ski Racing’s Winningest Family) were named to the 14-person strong Men’s World Championship team, joining an all-star line-up. They will compete for the U.S. at the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Championships, February 6-19 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Robby Kelley’s mother, Lindy Cochran Kelley, and Ryan Cochran Siegle’s mother, Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, are sisters. Both were top level World Cup racers.
Kelley, who chose to compete outside the U.S. Ski Team this year has run his own Redneck Racing campaign (see Revenge of the Redneck Racers ,) He wowed a crowd of 60,000 fans at a recent World Cup race when he hiked back up after a fall on his second run and finished, the only American to do so. Siegle has come back from a year of rehab to perform consistently well this season (see Ryan Cochran Siegle, On the Rise)
Also on the team: 2015 World Championship medalists Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) will headline a group of 23 athletes—14 men and 9 women.
With the recent return of Vonn to competition, Shiffrin’s lead for the overall crystal globe and Ganong’s victory in the Garmisch downhill, plus rising stars like Lindsey Vonn Foundation ambassador Jackie Wiles’ consistently strong skiing, the future is bright for this World Championships team. Five-time medalist Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), who has been making a strong and steady comeback, has also been named.
Notably missing from competition will be Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT), who each met World Championship team criteria, but are both sidelined with injuries.
“We’re looking forward to going to World Championships in St. Moritz,” said Alpine Director Patrick Riml. “Lindsey, Mikaela and Travis will lead a strong team with depth and promise. We’re confident in this team and we’re looking forward to a strong performance. Ted and Steven are not able to participate, and their leadership and presence will be missed.”
Fans will be able to follow all the action in St. Moritz via NBC and NBCSN with live streaming on nbcsports.com/live. Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) will not be competing, but will be announcing for NBC from St. Moritz.
The World Championships were last in St. Moritz in 2003, with the U.S. Ski Team collecting five medals from Kirsten Clark, Jonna Mendes, Erik Schlopy and Miller, who won two including giant slalom gold.
- The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named 23 athletes to compete in the
- The top two athletes by selection criteria in each event will get a start, as will the defending World Champion. Coaches will determine the remaining two spots the day prior to each competition.
- Five U.S. Ski Team athletes have been on the podium, including three who have grabbed the top step on the podium this season: Mikaela Shiffrin (eight first places – two giant slalom, six slalom), Lindsey Vonn (one first place – downhill), Travis Ganong (one first place – downhill), Steven Nyman (one third place – downhill) and Jackie Wiles (one third place – downhill).
- Shiffrin currently leads the World Cup standings in a heated battle with Switzerland’s Lara Gut. She also leads the slalom standings and is second in the giant slalom standings.
- Shiffrin successfully defended her slalom title in 2015 at World Championships, under pressure on home soil at Vail/Beaver Creek. Travis Ganong is currently sixth in the downhill standings.
- Lindsey Vonn Foundation ambassador Jackie Wiles recently grabbed her career-first podium in the downhill at Altenmarkt-Zauchensee.
- Five-time World Championships medalist Julia Mancuso, who has been sidelined with a nagging hip injury and has been making a steady comeback, has been named to the team for the eighth time. This will also be Resi Stiegler’s eighth World Championships team.
- Notably missing from competition will be Ted Ligety and Steven Nyman, who each met World Championship team criteria, but are sidelined with injuries.
- Race starters will not be finalized until the evening prior to each event.
- Bode Miller will not be competing, but will be announcing for NBC from St. Moritz.
- All of the World Championships action will be broadcast on NBC and NBCSN with live streaming on nbcsports.com/live.
2017 AUDI FIS SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM
Name, hometown, birthdate, USSA club, past World Champs
Michael Ankeny, Deephaven, MN, 1/17/91, Buck Hill Ski Team*
Bryce Bennett, Squaw Valley, CA, 7/14/92, Squaw Valley Ski Team*
Tommy Biesemeyer, Keene, NY, 1/30/89, New York Ski Education Foundation (2013)
David Chodounksy, Crested Butte, CO, 6/25/84, Crested Butte Ski Team (2011, 2013, 2015)
Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Starksboro, VT, 3/27/92, Cochran’s Ski Club/Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (2013)
Mark Engel, Truckee, CA, 10/1/91, Sugar Bowl Academy*
Tommy Ford, Bend, OR, 3/20/89, Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation (2011, 2015)
Travis Ganong, Squaw Valley, CA, 7/14/88, Squaw Valley Ski Team (2011, 2013, 2015)
AJ Ginnis, Vouliagmeni, Greece, 1/17/94, Green Mountain Valley School*
Jared Goldberg, Holladay, UT, 6/15/91, Snowbird Sports Education Foundation (2015)
Tim Jitloff, Reno, NV, 1/11/85, Park City Ski Team (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Robby Kelley, Starksboro, VT, 5/26/90, Cochran’s Ski Club/Mt. Mansfield Ski Club (2013)
Brennan Rubie, Salt Lake City, UT, 4/8/91, Snowbird Sports Education Foundation (2015)
Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY, 2/10/86, New York Ski Education Foundation (2009, 2013, 2015)
Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA, 7/3/84, Mammoth Mountain Ski Team (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Breezy Johnson, Victor, ID, 1/19/96, Rowmark Ski Academy*
Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA, 3/9/84, Squaw Valley Ski Team (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Megan McJames, Park City, UT, 9/24/87, Park City Ski Team (2009, 2011, 2015)
Laurenne Ross, Bend, OR, 8/17/88, Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, CO, 3/13/95, Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (2013, 2015)
Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY, 11/14/85, Jackson Hole Ski Club (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Lindsey Vonn, Vail, CO, 10/18/84, Buck Hill/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Jackie Wiles, Aurora, OR, 7/13/92, Pacific Northwest Ski Association/White Pass Ski Club (2015)
With reporting by the U.S. Ski Team/USSA
Featured photo: Robby Kelley at the Men’s Combined 2016 Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships at Sun Valley, Idaho. Credit: U.S. Ski Team