Nick Goepper celebrates after the men's freeski slopestyle final at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain on Jan. 9, 2022 in Mammoth, California.
Nick Goepper has been there, done that when it comes to the Olympics.
Already a two-time Olympian in slopestyle skiing, Goepper has two medals to show for it. Now he wants to be part of a third Olympic Winter Games with Team USA, this time in Beijing, where he believes his preparation and experience have him prepped for another potential medal run.
He just has to get there first.
Alex Hall, Colby Stevenson and Mac Forehand have locked up the first three spots on the U.S. roster for slopestyle and big air skiing. One slot remains. Barring some American slopestyler putting up an epic performance at this weekend’s world cup in Font Romeu, France, Goepper should be in good position to claim the last spot via coaches’ decision.
“I’m just going to wait and be patient, all I can really do, because I know I have put down the preparation and runs to be successful if I get picked for Beijing,” said Goepper, a native of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. “I feel very similar to how I did going into the last two Olympics; I had the tricks to win, and I believe I have the tricks to win this time around.
“It is really down to mindset and focus. I have that couple Olympics-worth of experience now. So I see this as lining up to be a really good month.”
Goepper was oh-so-close to locking up the coveted spot this past weekend. He finished second in the last qualifying event, the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in California. Goepper led after the first run, and if he had stayed on top he would have clinched the Olympic spot. Instead his second run was not strong enough to hold off Hall, and Goepper finished second.
“I was thrilled with how I skied in Mammoth, because I was really focused,” Goepper, 27, said. “It reminded me of myself from 4-5 years ago, when I was also skiing really well. I was feeling just like that. Calm. Patient. It’s where you want to be. It’s amazing what happens when you are patient and trust yourself to do what you are supposed to do. I know that can sound boring. But I really understand now what needs to happen for me to get into that place. And I am doing it.”