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Olympian on the slopes: Nick Goepper visits Afton Alps

Olympic bronze medalist Nick Goepper hit the slopes at Afton Alps Jan. 10. (Bulletin photo by Jace Frederick)1 / 2
Nick Goepper will go for his third-straight X Games gold medal in the slopestyle event Jan. 22-25. (Bulletin photo by Jace Frederick)2 / 2

It was a bit of a flashback for Nick Goepper Jan. 10 at Afton Alps.

Everywhere he looked, he saw younger versions of himself, with young skiers flying around the slopes, attempting to perfect their craft to possibly one day make it to the level Goepper is at now.

“I think that’s the best part about being here, skiing with the little guys and kind of seeing how hungry they are to get better and be pro skiers, too, and it’s awesome,” Goepper said. “I see myself in every little kid here.”

And the kids would surely love to see their future selves be in the position where Goepper, 20, is. The freestyle phenom took home a bronze medal in slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics and has two Winter X Games golds and a silver in the same event.

He’ll try to complete a three peat in Aspen, Colorado at the Winter X Games Jan. 22-25.

“I really just want to get there and do well and do some new tricks,” Goepper said, pounding his right fist into his left palm, “just hammer it!”

Because while Goepper said his Olympics performance has changed his life and presented him with plenty of new, exciting opportunities, the X Games still rate a notch above.

“At least to me, just because it’s more consistent, it happens every year and in our sport I’d say it’s more recognized than the (Olympic) games,” he said. “However I think the Olympics are gaining momentum and it’s definitely going to be one to watch for.”

Goepper was the one to watch at Afton Alps, seamlessly nailing trick after trick, leaving those in attendance in awe as they gazed up the snow powdered hill that, in his first visit to, Goepper enjoyed shredding.

“I love this place,” he said. “You’ve got like four runs right here dedicated to just the park and that’s my biggest thing, and I love it.”

The only thing he potentially didn’t love was the cold. Because even for a Midwest native from Indiana who makes his living in the snow, 10 degree temps can cause a chill.

“This place is, it’s really cold,” Goepper said. “It like bites you when you walk outside. It’s fun though. Wear an extra long sleeve shirt. It’s not that big of a deal.”

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