Goepper Is First Skier To Qualify For Team USA Men’s Slopestyle
By Mike Perleberg
Skier Nick Goepper (center) qualified for his second Winter Olympics during an event in California on Sunday, January 21. Photo by US Ski and Snowboard.
(Mammoth Mountain, Calif.) – It’s a certainty now. Southeastern Indiana’s Nick Goepper will be making a return trip to the Winter Olympics.
The Hidden Valley Lake native qualified for his second winter games at the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California on Sunday. Although he finished only eighth in the men’s ski slopestyle final, he was the best-placing American at the event.
“Yes, I felt like I was still going to be in my prime and skiing well and going to another games and hopefully another one after this. Nice to meet my goals,” Goepper said afterward.
Goepper, who learned to ski at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg, was the bronze medalist at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He’ll head to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.
Goepper said he’s looking forward to sharing another Olympic experience with his family and friends.
“I have an amazing support system behind me. As much as I wanted to make the team, if God forbid I hadn’t made it, I have family and great people in my life. It’s a huge deal but it’s not everything,” Goepper added.
He said Sunday one thing he learned from his first Olympics experience four years ago: get more sleep.
“I’m going to get more sleep – that’s the learning tool I’ll take to Korea. I didn’t get much sleep in Sochi – my heart was racing,” he said.
One of the other American skiers who helped the U.S. historically sweep the podium in slopestyle at the Sochi games also qualified Sunday. Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy will join Goepper.