Vermonters have a lot of people to be proud of going into the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Updated Feb. 9, 2018
In 2014-15, Ryan Cochran-Siegle sat out a ski season. Racing at the 2013 World Championships in Austria, he’d slammed into the third gate of the combined, crushing his knee. Three knee surgeries later, he was back, skiing well but cautiously last season.
This January, Cochran-Siegle, put the world on notice, climbing up the World Cup rankings and getting a 6th and then an 18th in the combined disciplines at Wengen, Switzerland over the weekend of January 12th. It was enough to clinch his spot on the Olympic Team, making him the fourth American male to make the Alpine team.
Cochran-Siegle, who grew up racing at his family’s Cochran’s Ski Area was one of many Vermonters, or athletes with Vermont ties, competing in PyeongChang this year.
Here’s our tally of Olympians with a Vermont connection and the official list of who has made the team.
VERMONTERS HEADED TO PYEONCHANG
Mikaela Shiffrin, graduate of Burke Mountain Academy, is our bet for a gold. Read our feature story, The Woman to Watch, on her from the archives. And Ryan Cochran-Siegle will follow in his mother, gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran’s footsteps in heading to the Olympics. And on January 14, in his first World Cup race in two years, Warren, Vt. local and Burke Mountain Academy grad Nolan Kasper came back from multiple knee injuries to earn 20th in the Wengen, Switzerland slalom and a spot on the Olympic team.
There are so many strong skiers from Vermont on the Olympic Team it might well be named the Green Mountain Team. Among those who have made the men’s team are three-time Olympian Andy Newell of Shaftsbury, Simi Hamilton (a transplant from Aspen who trains with the Stratton Mountain School Elite Team), and Patrick Caldwell of Lyme, N.H who is Sophie’s cousin and trains with the SMS team. The women’s side is packed with Putney’s Sophie Caldwell, Orlean’s Ida Sargent, Montpelier’s Liz Stephen and transplant Jessie Diggins, who also trains with SMS. It will be an Olympic debut for Kaitlynn Miller, 26, from Elmore. UVM grad Caitlin Patterson, who won Nationals, has also made the team.
Lindsey Jacobellis, who went to Stratton Mountain School, is the leading contender on the FIS Boardercross World Cup and earned her spot early on. Kelly Clark of Dover (Mount Snow) is no stranger to the Olympics—she won a gold medal in the 2002 Olympics, and bronze in both 2004 2010, making her one of the winningest snowboarders in the sport’s history.
Barton’s Susan Dunklee and Craftsbury Outdoor Center scion Emily Dreissigacker have both made the team. Dunklee knew last year she had after winning silver at the World Championships. The full team has been named. Lowell Bailey, a UVM grad, was the first American athlete to win a spot in this year’s Winter Games.
Mount Snow star Devin Logan, who won the 2015 World Cup after competing in both halfpipe and slopestyle, was the second US finisher at the most recent selection event. She did what we all expected by finishing third in the Mammoth World Cup in halfpipe and earning a ticket to PyeongChang for halfpipe and slopestyle. In the meantime, Caroline Claire, 17, a senior at Stratton Mountain School who grew up idolizing Logan will be competing in slopestyle. Emerson Smith, a 21-year-old Dover native, will make his freeskiing debut in PyeongChang this year.
Montpelier native Amanda Pelkey was on the team that won the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship gold medal in both 2016 and 2017, and she won two gold medals in the IIHF Under-18 World Championships and in the Four Nations Cup.