Nick Goepper: Olympic skier enjoying the ride, talks about turning 20, girls, dating, his future

Bronze medalist visits WCPO

CINCINNATI – Nick Goepper didn't need to hold a contest on social media to find a date to the University of Cincinnati basketball game Thursday night.

He took his grandmother.

UC fans gave Barbara Goepper and her grandson a rousing welcome when they walked on the floor wearing UC garb during a timeout at the UC-Memphis game at Fifth Third Arena.

Barbara, a UC grad, wore a black University of Cincinnati Alumni sweatshirt, and Nick wore a red UC shirt.

And his bronze medal, of course.

When Nick took off the medal and put it around his grandmother's neck, the students started chanting, "USA, USA" and the rest of the crowd joined in.

Goepper was relaxed and candid when he did an interview at WCPO this week.

He laughed when he called his "Win A Dream Date With Nick" contest on social media "shameful."

He answered questions about turning 20 next week, girlfriends, the Tinder dating craze at the Olympic Village, rooming and eating in the village and his plans for the future. (See below)

There doesn't seem to be an end to the excitement for the 19-year-old slopestyle skier from Lawrenceburg, Ind.

He admitted he was tired after a long week of media tours that took him to:

> Chicago (he and his buddies jumped in Lake Michigan along with Jimmy Fallon during the Polar Plunge);

> Indianapolis (skied around snow-covered Indianapolis Motor Speedway and backflipped at the finish line.)

 

> Plus, Louisville (skied at the Extreme Park), Cincinnati and Columbus.

And that was after a five-day celebrity tour in New York and before Saturday's hometown parade and celebration in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

"Good thing I have Red Bull to keep me going," he joked about his sponsor.

It's also good he has a group of close friends to share the experience with him.

 

Twins Anthony and Nick Ohlhaut have been Goepper's friends since they were 8 and growing up in Lawrenceburg. Kyle Delong is Goepper's roommate and fellow skier. They have been travelling with Goepper on his Midwest media tour.

"It's been cool to have my friends tag along," Goepper said. "It's fun to share my experience with them and just have some memories for down the road.

"And we always have someone to drive in the middle of the night," he laughed.

Here's what Goepper said about:

TURNING 20:

"I'll be 20 next Friday. Ugh, that's scary. No, not really, it's been a total whirlwind this season and I'm not that excited to not be a teenager anymore. I guess I'll have to grow up a little bit."

GIRLFRIENDS:

"I do not have a girlfriend. I prefer to not be in a committed relationship because my focus is on skiing right now, so it's nice to be able to focus 100 percent on that."

TINDER:

"I got on Tinder as soon as I got there and throughout the week I got a few matches, but I prefer to just meet people in person and come off in a more human way instead of on the Tinder platform. But Tinder was a pretty big thing. Tindermania."

LIVING IN THE OLYMPIC VILLAGE:

"I had a great experience. There was quite a bit of hype surrounding the sketchiness of the hotels and what not … I had a pretty good run while I was over there. The accommodations in the athlete village were fine. My room was fine -  like a college dorm, basically. It was super livable. Food was pretty good – lots and lots of potatoes. And we were pretty close to the slopes, too, so you could walk onto the lifts."

WIN A DREAM DATE WITH NICK:

"After my event, the next day we had a big media day. It happened to fall on Valentine's Day and so I was getting quite a lot of social media attention from a lot of girls asking to be my Valentine and go out on a date. I thought, OK, maybe I'll have a little fun with this and turn it into something cool. So I came up with this little idea to have a contest to have a date with me.

"As shameful as that is.

"But it was really cool to see the response from all the girls on social media, and we did the "Today" show the next morning and they came up with the hash tag #iwanttodatenick,  so all these girls were tweeting and instagramming all these videos and photos – basically date proposals. People were singing original songs and dancing, making these cool paper-mache things – all over the board. There were a lot of amazing and beautiful girls and talented girls out there, and I picked a girl to win the contest and I'm going to try to make the date one of the coolest days of her life."

WHO HE CHOSE AND WHY:

"Her name is Annie Rogers (21-year-old student at Kent State University). I chose her based off the video she submitted. She played guitar, did a Jason Mraz cover of "I'm Yours" and sang original lyrics. She was funny and witty and cute. It was cool. I thought it was super original and creative, so I chose her."

WHEN'S THE DATE?

"About two weeks from now in New York City. We're just going to do some really fun stuff. I've got some cool things planned out.

HOMETOWN SUPPORT:

"It's been amazing the amount of support I've gotten. After I got home, I walked in the gym at Lawrenceburg High School and there like 3,000 or 4,000 kids and staff there to welcome to me. I couldn’t believe it. It's been such a wild run. To have the kind of support I've had back here, it gives me confidence."

WHERE HE WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL BEFORE GOING TO A SKI ACADEMY IN OREGON:

"I went to East Central High School for a year and a half."

BEING A ROLE MODEL:

"I kind of have a younger following, so I kind of have a responsibility to be a role model. A lot of parents think so. Being a good human in general is just a good thing to do."

SUPPORTING CHARITIES:

"That's definitely on my radar down the road. I just did the Chicago Polar Plunge last weekend to support Special Olympics. That was really cool. It felt good to support a good cause.  I want to do stuff like that in the future. Make it fun, not just make it about donating money. Get people involved and make it fun for everyone."

SHORT-TERM PLANS:

"Hang with my buddies, find somewhere to go skiing and find out where the next event is."

LONG-TERM PLANS:

"I'm so amazingly blessed to have this opportunity to do what I do now. I kind of have to pinch myself every day. And the plan is to just take full advantage of this opportunity and stay healthy and treat my body right and keep going.

"I want to go to a couple more Olympics, stay healthy and enjoy the ride."

Follow Goepper on Twitter @NickGoepper and on Facebook.

PHOTOS: Nick Goepper at the Olympics

 

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