Nick Goepper happy to be back in the Tri-State after winning Olympic medal

CINCINNATI -- Goodbye, Russia and the Olympics, Hello Lawrenceburg and Skyline Chili.

Olympic bronze medalist Nick Goepper returned to the Tri-State Tuesday with a hero's welcome.

Goepper arrived at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport at 12:47 p.m. to a maze of cameras and cheers.

With a smile on his face, he said he couldn't wait to see his family and friends.

"Ever since I got to Russia, it was stressful and it was so crazy, all the traveling and just the Olympic hype, that just stepping here in Cincinnati and going home to Indiana is just amazing," Goepper said as he was greeted by his brother and sister at the airport.

A hug from his sister Kasey was the first official welcome he received after passing security.

Goepper said he was looking forward to returning to his home in Dearborn County for weeks – and his family has too.

”I was just so excited to see him,” Kasey Goepper said. “It was awesome and he looks so happy and I'm just so proud of him."

Goepper was also greeted by his brother Jason, who couldn’t stop smiling when he spotted him.

"I'm super happy for him for what he's done and what he's been able to do,” Jason Goepper said. “He's encouraged a lot of people."

With his bronze medal tucked away in his pants pocket, Goepper said he was craving Skyline Chili and Jeff Ruby's Precinct.

He said he was also looking forward to skiing at Perfect North, and he would likely hit the familiar slopes first thing in the morning Wednesday.

Later Tuesday, Goepper greeted a crowd at Lawrenceburg High School for a welcome home party.

"The one thing I'm most proud of (is) to say where I'm from" Goepper said. "No matter how many medals or X Games or anything, when the announcer says 'Nick Goepper from Lawrenceburg, Ind.,' that's what really hits home."

To Goepper’s longtime friends – twins Anthony and Nick Ohlhaut – the Olympic athlete is an inspiration for others to chase their dreams.

"My best friend going out there and getting the medal for the Olympics is just, it's unreal and it's kind of humbling because you can do it if you try hard enough,” Anthony Ohlhaut said.

Goepper said his goal for the future is to motivate other young skiers, and show them they can reach their Olympic dreams.

"Hopefully my story inspires them," he said. "I grew up skiing at Perfect North until I was 15 years old and skiing on AstroTurf in my backyard in the summer time, and I just really hope to inspire a lot of kids."

Goepper is more popular now than ever – especially because of the trending hashtag on Twitter: #IWantToDateNick.

Goepper said he plans on making a decision soon on which girl he will take out on a date.

But despite his success and the thousands wanting his affection, Goepper says he’s not cocky.

"I have awesome friends and awesome family that does nothing but humble me and make fun of me and just point out every flaw that happens and I'm just so thankful for that because it keeps me the same kid," he said.

Near the door of the airport baggage area Tuesday about to leave, Goepper said he forgot to do something.

He put his skis down and ran back to say “thank you” to the airport employees that helped him get off the plane and on his way.

Now that's classy.

RELATED: Watch John Popovich's interview with the Goepper family on "Sports of All Sorts."

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