Editor’s Note, Feb. 13, 2014: Nick Goepper won bronze at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as Americans swept the medals in the men’s slopestyle event. Joss Christensen won gold, and Gus Kenworthy seized silver at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
When Lawrenceburg native Nick Goepper decided he wanted to be a professional skier, his father said he had three strikes against him: “He lived in the Midwest, he lived in the Midwest, and he lived in the Midwest.”
Now, the 19-year-old is a two-time X Games gold-medal winner, having won his second at Aspen over the weekend in slopestyle skiing. He’ll also compete in Sochi at the Olympics next month. Slopestyle skiing is new to the Olympics, and Goepper is the world’s top-ranked athlete in the sport. He scored a 95.00 at the X Games to take the gold, just one point shy of the slopestyle skiing record. After his run, one of the commentators said, “I honestly have nothing bad to say about that.”
Goepper appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman last night to discuss the sport. Slopestyle skiing involves a number of rails, walls, and ramps that the skiers use to perform tricks. After Goepper told Letterman this, he remarked, “You just described something there that I would think is impossible.” The Hoosier host also said he thinks the fact that Goepper comes from a small town in Indiana is a “pretty big story.” Goepper might be headed down the slopes, but for him, there’s nowhere to go but up.