Indiana teen to go for gold in slopestyle - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Indiana teen to go for gold in slopestyle

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Nick Goepper at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi Nick Goepper at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi
Chris Goepper Chris Goepper
When Nick Goepper couldn't get out to Perfect North, he practiced in their backyard on homemade ramps. When Nick Goepper couldn't get out to Perfect North, he practiced in their backyard on homemade ramps.
When Nick's family put his face on a Wheaties box for fun that it could really happen. When Nick's family put his face on a Wheaties box for fun that it could really happen.

LAWRENCEBURG, IN (WAVE) - One of the new sports in the 2014 Winter Olympics is Slopestyle Free Skiing and one of the stars of the event is Indiana's own Nick Goepper. The Lawrenceburg native is hot off winning gold at the X Games two years in a row.  

The oldest of four children, Nick Goepper's father, Chris Goepper said, "He's the product of two firstborns, he just gets after it."

[READ MORE ABOUT NICK GOEPPER]

His sister Bradee Goepper said they are used to seeing him in the spotlight now. "He's practically in the newspaper like every week now," she said. "I'm like there's Nick again."

His mother grew up skiing and wanted her son to do the same. He was just 5 years old when he put on skis for the first time at Perfect North, in Indiana, one of the flattest states in the country.

Goepper's name is well known in the terrain park at Perfect North. He would go there after school and on weekends, selling candy bars on the school bus to pay for the lift tickets and things he needed.

One of the local freeslope skiers said of Goepper, "It gives us hope to know he can come from this and do what he does."

"He was out here for hours on end and dedicated to it," said Tim Doll with Perfect North. "Other kids would stop come in for lunch and he would just keep making laps."

His sister Kasey now works at Perfect North in the rental area.

"There's been some people who come in and they want to take a picture with me and stuff," she said.

The family has gotten a lot of community support. A huge sign now hangs in their living room displaying well wishes from a local school where Goepper went to speak to the students.

"He's worked so hard," said his mother Linda Goepper. "Hardest working kid I knew."

The entire family traveled to Sochi to watch him compete. The trip wasn't cheap, but Goepper's dad said they never considered not going.

When Nick Goepper couldn't get out to Perfect North, he practiced in their backyard. He and his father built rails. The first one was made with four PVC pipes.

Jason Goepper, the youngest of the four children and the one who uses the rails now, said he has no plans to do what his brother was doing at 15-years old. 

That's when Goepper moved to Oregon to attend the action sports school Windells Academy on a full scholarship. His parents encouraged him to follow his dreams, never thinking they would be Olympic dreams.

They also never thought when they put his face on a Wheaties box for fun that it could really happen. Forbes magazine ranked Goepper as one of the most marketable Olympians. His good looks and Middle America pedigree marketers love could turn a gold into a whole lot of green.

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