Can you believe the 2014 Winter Olympics are almost over? The Games have brought triumphs and tears for athletes (and fans!) all around the world, but it was a happy time for freestyle skiier Nick Goepper, 19. He took home a bronze medal! He stopped by the P&G Family Home to talk about his experience at the Games.
OK!: What has been the most surprising thing about being a tourist Russia so far?
Nick Goepper: I think it’s been the amazing amount of love and support we’ve gotten from all the Russians, and I mean, the Russians are awesome, super nice people, and the venues are absolutely beautiful here in Sochi. There was so much negative press about Russia coming into this event and there still is negative press. The media wants to focus on that but I just take away the amazing and beautiful experience I’ve had here so far.
OK!: You’ve posted pics of your room in Olympic Village. What’s it like staying among so many athletes?
NG: It’s really, really cool, but it’s a little weird at the same time. It’s like not what we’re normally used to. The community of free skiers is used to hanging out with free skiers and snowboarders mainly. To see these giant, six foot five bobsledders walking around along with the super tiny figure skaters. It’s kind of like both ends of the spectrum, and it’s really neat.
OK!: What’s your favorite sport to watch other than your own?
NG: I like watching hockey. I think that’s one of the most exciting sports to watch.
OK!: How do you deal with the pressure in between events?
NG: I think there’s no pressure in between events. I think the only pressure is on the day of the event, and honestly, I just ski my heart out every day. It’s what I love to do. It’s what I’m passionate about. I just want to progress and get better at it every day.
OK!: What do you listen to before you go out there to compete?
NG: I’m listening to all kinds of music. I’ve got some country, got a little Taylor Swift, got some Katy Perry, some Miley Cyrus, some rap, some Game, Rick Ross, stuff like that.
OK!: P&G has a campaign thanking Olympic moms. What did your mom teach you about discipline?
NG: She taught me that if I put wet towels in the laundry hamper, I had to do my own laundry. [laughing] So that was a life lesson that resonated with me until now. It’s been fun being a Tide athlete. I always think about my laundry lessons with my mom growing up.
OK!: You’ve been hanging out a lot at the P&G Family Home. What does it mean to have your family here at the Games?
NG: It means the world to me! I love my mom more than anyone in the world, except for the rest of my family, and it’s just magical to have the P&G Thank You Mom program here and supporting my mom the whole way through.
OK!: What’s your favorite aspect of your skiing?
NG: My favorite aspect of my skiing is the ability to be creative and do whatever you want. The slopestyle course is like a canvas and your skis are like a paintbrush.
OK!: How is your sport changing? How are you seeing it evolve?
NG: I think the Olympics are really going to allow the sport to just skyrocket into new heights and give us a ton of exposure. Really get a lot more young kids involved which I think is really cool. The opportunity to inspire the youth is amazing, and up to this point, the most obvious thing is the tricks. Guys are doing newer, crazy runs every year, and the technical progression of skiing is almost out of hand.
OK!: Were you nervous about the slopestyle course?
NG: Yeah, I was a little nervous, because as soon as we saw it in person, it was massive. The jumps were massive. And then we hit it for the first time in person, and the jumps were huge, and the rails were really technical, so thankfully, they touched up the course and worked out a few of the kinks. It was awesome on game day. I’d like to think at some point on these massive jumps, we were maybe thirty or forty feet in the air.
OK!: How’s your hand feeling?
NG: Hand is feeling good. It’s almost one-hundred percent rehabbed. I just need to put my nose to the grindstone and get through this last little bit of rehab.
Did you watch Nick during the Olympics? What is your favorite sport to watch? What was the best moment of the 2014 Winter Olympics? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.