Nick Goepper skis at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Hoosier Olympian Nick Goepper is always looking for a new trick on skis, and he may just have created another first today, skiing around the snow-covered two-and-a-half-mile oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Monday afternoon.
Skiing at the track is an idea Goepper came up with this morning. Those at the track were game. They told Nick to make the rounds and come back to the IMS.
It was a whirlwind visit to Indianapolis for Goepper, which included the Speedway, the Statehouse and a special announcement. They had to wipe away the snow for Nick Goepper to kiss the yard of bricks. He'd never been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before and is now intrigued to see Indiana's original extreme sport in person.
"I can't wait to come back in May and see my first race and join the massive party that goes on here and I think it would be so exhilarating," he said.
Goepper got a quick run around the track in an SUV Monday morning, but his first appointment was the Indiana Statehouse.
Gov. Mike Pence honored the Olympian with a proclamation. Goepper was thrilled.
"I'm really feeling the inner Hoosier come out of me, and my connection to this state!" he said. "To go to Sochi and represent Indiana and the USA and to come back with a medal in the inaugural slopestyle is sweet!"
"On behalf of all people of Indiana, it's my honor to commemorate you as a distinguished Hoosier," the governor told him.
The entire day was marked with Goepper's childhood friends and twins Nicholas and Anthony Ohlhaut, and his roommate and fellow skier Kyle Delong. They say they keep him humble - including reminding him how proud they are he won bronze.
"I almost won! But more than anything I'm so happy to come back with a medal, especially the first ever time this sport was in the Olympics. I think I'm super competitive and I wanted to win so badly and I didn't go there to do anything but get on the top!" said Goepper. Still, he added, "There is always next time - I suppose four years from now. I think it was great. It lit a fire under my butt and now I'm more motivated and more inspired and so chomping at the bit to go out and learn more tricks just get better at skiing and just have fun."