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Nick Goepper set for Sochi Olympics in ski slopestyle

Dec 21, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT

Nick Goepper Getty Images

Nick Goepper locked up a spot on the first U.S. Olympic Team in slopestyle skiing at the second Olympic selection event in Copper Mountain, Colo., on Saturday.

“It’s a dream come true,” Goepper said, according to the U.S. Ski Team. “It’s super fun. The Olympics add a bit more pressure, but we’re just out here trying to get creative and have fun.”

Goepper, the rare freeskier out of Indiana, took second with 89.20 points in the first of his two runs. It held up until Norway’s Andreas Haartveit posted 92.80 late in the second run. Australian Russ Henshaw took third.

Goepper, the reigning Winter X Games champion, won in Breckenridge last week without ski poles due to a broken hand. He met U.S. Olympic Team selection criteria being the top American finisher in the first two Olympic selection events.

No American man other than Goepper has finished on the podium in either of the first two selection events. Ski slopestyle is making its Olympic debut.

Earlier, Canadian Dara Howell won the women’s ski slopestyle. No U.S. women have reached Olympic selection criteria yet, but four women are halfway there through two of five events.

Darian Stevens and Grete Eliassen were second and third behind Howell. Howell won with an 87.60 second run, bettering Stevens’ 85.40 and Eliassen’s 83.40.

Maggie Voisin, who was third last week on her 15th birthday, was fourth Saturday with 80.00 points. Devin Logan, who won last week, did not reach the finals in Copper Mountain.

Up to three slopestyle skiers per gender who have had two top-three results over five Olympic selection events will be named to the Olympic team. If more than three athletes, in either gender, have had two top-three results, tiebreaker rankings come into play.

A skier’s best two results will be combined to create tiebreaker rankings. The next Olympic selection event for slopestyle skiing is in Breckenridge in January.

Here are the Olympic selection tiebreaker ranking standings in ski slopestyle after two of five selection events, only counting those with top-three results:

Men’s Ski Slopestyle
1. Nick Goepper — 200 (two top-three results)

Women’s Ski Slopestyle
1. Maggie Voisin — 140
2. Devin Logan — 136
2. Darian Stevens — 136
4. Grete Eliassen — 102

Sigourney, Blunck win ski halfpipe at Copper

  1. stevenyeeve - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Regarding “Goepper locking up a spot”,
    Please note that ski halfpiper Aaron Blunck also has a 1st and 2nd place finish at these same two events. And here’s USSA’s statement (12/21): “After Friday’s victory and his second place at Dew Tour Breckenridge, Blunck has met the minimum Olympic qualification criteria of two top-three finishes, but with three more qualification events left, his Olympic spot is not yet secured.”

    Therefore, Goepper’s spot is not yet secured either.

    • Nick Zaccardi - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      David Wise was the top American in Breck. No American beat Goepper in Copper.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. doctorrustbelt - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I can’t believe Slopestyle became an Olympic sport before Truck Inner Tube Downhill and Popping Wheelies On 5 Speeds.

  3. stevenyeeve - Dec 24, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Hey Nick,
    And here’s what the Team USA site stated: “Nick Goepper made his nomination to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team a near-lock by finishing second in the slopestyle final at the Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo.”

    • Nick Zaccardi - Dec 24, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Correct, he has not been nominated yet. But he has satisfied the objective criteria laid out, and only one other skier could possibly match him in tiebreaker rankings. They will likely nominate everyone at once after the last selection event.

      Sent from my iPhone

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