Midwest Olympians, Newcomer Score Points
A startling new skiing talent from Indiana won gold at the X Games on the slopestyle course. Nick Goepper, 18, from Lawrenceburg, took home the gold for his high-flying run in the men’s Ski Slopestyle Final. His flawless double-corked spins, both directions, and lengthy grabs and graceful landings earned Goepper the well deserved top spot.
Slopestyle will be an Olympic event in 2014 at Sochi, Russia, which is something to look forward to. He grew up learning to ski at nearby Perfect North Slopes and was always in the terrain parks, according to Ellen Perfect.
“The lodge was packed with everyone watching and cheering on Sunday when Nick won,” she told SnoCountry.com. “What a great thing for a kid from Indiana. It gives all the kids in our terrain parks someone they can identify with and look up to. That’s pretty awesome. Nick stops by whenever he’s home. His parents live nearby, and he was at Perfect North a couple of days over the recent holidays.”
Olympian Louie Vito, who honed his early skills at Ohio’s Mad River Mountain and still holds an annual Christmas rail jam there, finished seventh in the X Games Men’s Snowboard Superpipe finals won by Shaun White. Vito is currently the reigning Winter Dew Tour Overall Champion, the U.S. Grand Prix Overall Champion and was on the 2010 Olympic Team. Expect him to make the team again next winter.
Olympian Nick Baumgartner, who often shows up at his home hill Ski Brule in Michigan’s UP, led the USA finishing seventh in snowboardcross at the FIS World Championship at Stoneham this past weekend. He got tangled up in the semis, but came back to win the small final and placed seventh overall. He won his opening heat, was second in the quarterfinals before the semis. He won gold at the X Games a couple of years ago and has been ranked among the top five in the world in snowboardcross competition.