Freeskiing Programs

Goepper Clinches Olympic Spot at Copper

by
USSA
2013-12-21 15:33
 

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO. (Dec. 22) – Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) became the first skier to secure a spot on the first-ever U.S. Freeskiing Olympic team Saturday with his second-place finish in the slopestyle final at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face. Goepper was the top American finisher behind Norway’s Andreas Haatveit, who took home the FIS World Cup victory while Australian Russ Henshaw took third. Goepper’s two top-three finishes and two victories over the U.S. field make him mathematically untouchable going into the three remaining qualifiers. The rest of the athletes will attempt to join Goepper when the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix goes to Breckenridge Jan. 8-12.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) became the first skier to secure a spot on the first-ever U.S. Freeskiing Olympic team Saturday with his second-place finish in the slopestyle final at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix presented by The North Face.
  • Goepper was the top American finisher behind Norway’s Andreas Haatveit, who took home the FIS World Cup victory with Australian Russ Henshaw in third.
  • Goepper’s two top-three finishes, one at Saturday’s event and one at last weekend’s Dew Tour at Breckenridge, with his two victories over the U.S. field make him mathematically untouchable going into the three remaining qualifiers. Like in the Dew Tour, no other American male got on the podium, which makes the next few competitions very important for the remainder of the U.S. men hoping to get an Olympic team spot.
  • McRae Williams (Park City, UT) was the next highest scoring U.S. skier with an 84.20, which earned him fourth-place followed by favorite Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, CO) who finished fifth. William’s finish put him in third place in the Olympic qualification standings, one spot above Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh, PA), who is currently ranked fourth and placed eighth in Saturday’s final.
  • Snow showers made the finals a completely different event than qualifiers, where the men were boosting off jumps and rails with style and confidence. In the final, most men were happy if they landed a clean run, while many couldn’t get enough speed for the big kickers.
  • Goepper’s second-place run: Switch lip 270 backside 270 out of down-flat-down, lip-on backside 270 out of wall ride, misty 6 out of trap rail, rightside double cork 1080 mute to Japan, leftside double cork 1260 tail and switch rightside misty 900 mute.
  • The competition is tight for the rest of the athletes, who will battle it out to join Goepper on the Olympic team when the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix goes to Breckenridge Jan. 8-12.

QUOTES
Nick Goepper
It’s not grueling at all. It’s a dream come true. It’s super fun. The Olympics add a bit more pressure, but we’re just out here trying to get creative and have fun.

I’m going to approach the next contests with the same confidence and the same preparation that I came here with. No pressure, I’m just trying to ski and have fun and land my runs.

I was definitely affected by the speed. Going into practice I changed my run completely and decided to do a little bit more mellow run so I could get speed and it ended up working.

RESULTS
Men’s Final Results

STANDINGS
Official Qualification Standings

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