Cochran, Barbara (1951—)

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Cochran, Barbara (1951—)

American skier. Born Barbara Ann Cochran in Claremont, New Hampshire, on January 4, 1951; daughter of Gordon S. ("Mickey") and Virginia Cochran; sister of skiers Marilyn Cochrane Brown (b. 1950, who won a giant slalom in Austria, placed 2nd in two World Cup events in Italy and Czechoslovakia, and was the first American to win the French championship), Linda Cochran (b. 1954, who took 1st in European Cup giant slalom in 1975 and was the top American finisher in the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, placing sixth), and Robert Cochrane.

Won the U.S. Giant Slalom national championship (1969); took second in the world championship (1970); won the gold medal in slalom at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics with a combined time of 1:31.24.

Barbara Cochran was born into a skiing family. By 1973, all four Cochran siblings from Richmond, Vermont, were on the U.S. ski team that was coached by their father Mickey Cochran, a former international skier. In 1966, Barbara Cochran was junior national champion in the giant slalom. In 1970, she skied second in slalom, and third in giant slalom to become 5th overall in the World Cup. In 1971, she won the World Cup slalom and giant slalom back to back. Cochran entered the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo with her brother Robert and her sister Marilyn. Combatting thick clouds and heavy snow on Mount Teine, the 21-year-old Barbara, in a surprising upset, won the gold in slalom by 0.02 seconds, the first American skier to win gold since Andrea Mead Lawrence won two gold medals in 1952. From 1972, no American woman won a gold medal again in skiing until 1984 when Debbie Armstrong came in first in the giant slalom.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Cochran, Barbara (1951—)

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