U.S. skier Nick Goepper earned the Olympic silver medal in the men’s ski slopestyle final on Feb. 18 and his victory is a bright light after a dark period in his life.
Team USA’s Nick Goepper, 23, came in second place behind Norway’s Oystein Braaten, winning the silver medal in the men’s ski slopestyle final competition with an amazing score of 93.60 at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on Feb. 18 and now he’s basking in the glory of reward after a tough struggle with depression. Here are five things you should know about the skier who has been open about the ups and downs of his incredible journey.
1.) He made his Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and won a bronze medal. At only 19-years-old, Nick was one of three U.S. team members to sweep the men’s slopestyle competition. Fellow American skiers Joss Christensen won gold and Gus Kenworthy won silver. In addition to the Olympics, Nick won three gold medals and a silver medal at the Winter X Games.
2.) His depression started after the Sochi Olympics and at one point, he even contemplated suicide. In a recent interview with USA Today, he opened up about how coming down from the intense media circus high after his first Olympics is what led him to a dark place. His depression was accompanied by drinking a lot in a short period of time and he thought about ending it all. “I started to really question myself and my motives, having these crazy existential questions like why am I doing this?” he told the outlet. “What is the point?” After calling his mother, Linda, and telling her he was thinking of drinking a whole bottle of vodka, his parents convinced him to get help. He spent 60 days at a rehab center in Texas in the fall of 2015 and hasn’t had a drink since.
3.) In addition to skiing, he has other interests like reading and wants to make it a priority to learn new things. He started keeping a journal while in rehab and now reads on a regular basis. He wants to have a big collection of books for a house he plans on buying this year and has expressed that he understands skiing isn’t everything and wants to know how to do other things. Just weeks before the 2018 Olympics, he taught himself how to change spark plugs.
4.) He is originally from Indiana. Nick started skiing when he was 5 years old and after growing up in Lawrenceburg, he moved and enrolled in Windells Academy in Mt Hood, Oregon when he was 15. He soon took advantage of training facilities that had good coaches so he could improve his skills as a skier.
5.) He’s the oldest of four in his family. Nick has two younger sisters and a younger brother. One unique family activity he used to do with his siblings and parents included hiking down old railroad tracks for a few miles and finding insulators.
Congrats to Nick on his Olympic silver medal!
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