Nick Goepper: Olympic hero takes quiet break between homecoming and parade on childhood ski hill

Bronze medalist has fun at Perfect North Slopes

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. – After a successful sojourn in Sochi and a five-day media tour and nights on the town in New York City, between the hero's homecoming at the high school gym Tuesday and a hometown parade March 8, Nick Goepper took time to relax Wednesday the way an Olympic medal-winning skier should – on the ski hill where he grew up.

"I've been looking forward to this since the Olympics, so I can't wait," the 19-year-old bronze medalist said as he stepped out of the lodge in his Team USA garb, skis in hand, into a bright white and blue morning at Perfect North Slopes.

Of course, Goepper got a celebrity's welcome first – a hug in the parking lot, greetings from a middle-school teacher, and yearnings for a picture from two anxious teenage girls who couldn't believe the Olympic heartthrob was there when they were.

Goepper gladly posed and chatted with them, then he went off to ski and the girls went off to post their historic moment on social media.

"Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, oh my gosh, everything," they busted out.

Goepper hit the terrain park, with its rails and jumps, for some "shredding" (slang for freeskiing or snowboarding). Not to be confused with "shredding the gnar," which means skiing gnarly (difficult) terrain.

Or so they say.

Goepper had the rails to himself as other skiers gave him space, watching from the bottom of the hill.

Nick's mom got him involved in the Doodles program at Perfect North when he was 5, and he skied there until he was 15, when he got a scholarship to a ski academy in Utah, so Goepper was in his element.

It was no big deal to him. He was just out there playing around, getting loose, having some fun.

Other skiers got out their cameras, and whenever Nick reached the bottom he'd find somebody who wanted to share a moment.

There were pictures with the guys, pictures with the kids, and Nick played along.

"I just spent a week in New York doing a bunch of stuff out there and it's good to be back. So good to be back," he said.

Goepper's media tour of New York included appearances on "The David Letterman Show" and "TODAY," "HuffPo Live" and former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason's radio show.

In case you missed it, he even did an interview with teen idol mags Bop and Tiger Beat headlined: "EXCLUSIVE Q&A: Why Olympian Nick Goepper is the Cutest Boy You’re Not Crushing On… Yet!"

After he flew into CVG Tuesday, Goepper went right to Lawrenceburg High School, where cheering students from Dearborn County schools gave him a hero's welcome in the school gym.

The parade for the Tri-State's only Winter Olympics medal winner and his family starts at 10:30 a.m. March 8 on Walnut Street, downtown.

Afterward the city will hold a public celebration at Lawrenceburg High School, Mayor Dennis Carr's office said. 

Follow Goepper on Twitter @NickGoepper and on Facebook.

PHOTOS: Nick Goepper at the Olympics

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