Goepper Gearing Up For Winter Olympic Trials
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A local skier is departing on the road to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
I’m really looking forward to this next month, getting back on the horse, and getting ready for this crazy winter,” said Hidden Valley resident Nick Goepper as he visited with Eagle 99.3’s Bubba Bo on Friday on his way to the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to head to train for an upcoming competition.
Goepper is the 2013 Winter X Games gold medalist and the top ranked ski slopestylist in the world.
He got his start skiing at southeast Indiana’s Perfect North Slopes, but is now aiming for title of Olympian. In order to qualify for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, he must compete at five qualifying events between December and January.
“They’re going to take four guys total on the (U.S.) slopestyle team. Your best two results of those five qualifiers will count towards your chances to go,” he said.
LISTEN TO EAGLE 99.3’S INTERVIEW WITH NICK GOEPPER ON OUR SOUNDBYTES PAGE.
The skiing phenom is fighting through an injury. He broke his hand on a practice run at a recent event in New Zealand. He’s had surgery and expects to be ready for the winter competitions, though he may not be able to use ski poles.
A former East Central High School student, Goepper said he fully dedicated himself to skiing five years ago. His parents have been his biggest supporters in that time.
“They really went out on a limb on the whole skiing thing. They realized I had a passion for it at a young age and allowed me to go off and pursue my dream,” he said. “It’s been a wild ride but it’s been a lot of fun.”
In explaining ski slopestyle – an event in which only a handful of people worldwide compete at an elite level – he equated it to skateboarding.
“You go down a course and you got a series of jumps and rails. You perform the most technical and stylish trick on each feature. When you get the bottom the judges give you a score based off their overall impression of your entire run,” Goepper explained.