Hoosier Olympian Nick Goepper to attend WTHR Health & Fitness Expo

Hoosier Olympian Nick Goepper to attend WTHR Health & Fitness Expo
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Olympian bronze medalist and Lawrenceburg native Nick Goepper will appear at the 2014 WTHR Health & Fitness Expo.

About Nick

Ranked #1 in the World, American slopestyle freeskier, Nick Goepper took home a bronze medal from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where freeskiing made its Olympic debut.

Nick grew up in Lawrenceburg, a small town in Southern Indiana. He started skiing at the age of five at a small resort nearby, Perfect North, a place Goepper describes as "the size of your typical bunny hill at any resort out West." The local 300-foot ski hills had terrain parks and a grassroots freestyle scene.

The moment he learned to "catch air" on his skis he fell in love with the sport and it has been his number one passion ever since.

At age 13, he built his own park in his backyard, complete with skate rails and a wooden kicker covered with Astroturf. He watched an endless stream of ski movies at home and got a seemingly crazy idea in his head: He wanted to become a pro skier.

Growing up Nick hitched daily rides to the ski resort, where a group of older skiers showed him the way. He entered his first big air contest when he was 11, released his first video edit at 12, landed his first double flip at 13 and has been on a roll ever since.

Growing up in southern Indiana may not be the typical path for a professional skier, yet somehow he cultivated enough skiing talent to make his European X Games debut on his 17th birthday.

Nick's parents, Linda and Chris, encouraged him to pursue his dreams, but it was not always easy. They did everything they could to provide Nick and his siblings the opportunities they wanted, but when his father lost his job in 2004 and went through several unemployment challenges through 2008, it got harder.

Nick crossed contests off his schedule and sought work on his own. In 8th grade, Nick sold candy bars on the school bus to pay for a ski pass. He sold just about every product (skis, clothing, goggles) he had won at regional competitions in order to feed his desire to keep skiing and routinely begged for rides after school so that he could get to the slopes to practice.

Two years later, with a potential New England ski academy tuition to cover, he ramped up his efforts. He wrote a story about himself, printed it with a photo, then knocked on doors around town asking for donations or odd jobs, including staining decks, walking dogs and mowing lawns, which he did for several months.

Despite his efforts, the cost of attending a ski academy remained out of

reach.

On a visit to an action sports camp in Ohio when Nick was 15, he caught the attention of a veteran in the ski industry and within a few months, Nick was moving out West, to Mount Hood, Oregon, to attend the action sports school Windells Academy, on a full-ride athletic and academic scholarship with year-round access to training and legendary freeride coach Mike Hanley (who at that time, served as the President Of Windells Academy).

This full time coaching and training was the opportunity of a lifetime for Goepper. Nick's family remained in Indiana. Nick flourished to the top of the sport and quickly became known globally.

In the winter of 2010-2011, Nick blasted onto the pro-level freeskiing contest circuit, qualifying in slopestyle for his first Dew Tour and Winter X Games in France, where ESPN called him a "Rookie to Watch." In January 2011, he placed 3rd at the Dew Tour in Killington.

A few months later, he showed up at the Dumont Cup in Maine, a contest known for taking unknown amateurs and pitting them against the top pros, and he won. If people didn't know who Nick Goepper was before, they certainly did now.

With a bevy of freestyle moves and spins in his arsenal, Nick continued to earn top scores, including 2nd place at Dew Tour stop #1 and 3rd place at Dew Tour stop #2 the next season.

He followed that by winning a silver medal at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen. Heading into the 2012-2013 season, he was ranked 2nd worldwide, and took the gold medal at the 2013 Winter X Games. Graduated from Windell's and after a summer of hard training, Nick opened the 2013-2014 season with two big wins at The North Face Open and New Zealand Winter Games.

In 2014, Nick was part of an all-American sweep of the new slopestyle competition at the Sochi Olympics, winning bronze. It was a standout achievement after a lifetime of hard work - and he's only just getting started!