THE SUCCESS STORY CONTINUES! MARKER VOLKL ATHLETES NICK GOEPPER IN 2ND PLACE AND RUSS HENSHAW IN 5TH AT X GAMES SLOPESTYLE FINALS
Nick Goepper Photo: X Games, ESPN Eventmedia
Aspen, Colorado yet again played host to the Winter X Games Freeski Slopestyle; the event regarded unanimously as the highlight of the freeskiing calendar by athletes and spectators alike. Marker Völkl athlete Nick Goepper continued his impressive form from last week by placing an incredible 2nd place in the most competitive field of freeskiers seen to date. Fellow team mate Russ Henshaw also placed a respectable 5th place in the fierce slopestyle competition.
Fame, glory, money and most of all mutual respect from fellow athletes, these are all things that can be gained from competing at the legendary X Games in Aspen, Colorado. The population of this relatively small town explodes for the week of X as spectators from all over the globe come to see the action unfold. With multiple terrain parks speckled across all four mountains of Aspen, and many years experience of hosting Winter X, it is no surprise that the terrain park crew built another phenomenal slopestyle course. It consisted of two technical jib features with multiple options for creativity and four massive jumps, increasing in size down the 1600 foot long course. 16 of the best freeski athletes of the globe came to Aspen to take on this challenging course.
The slopestyle eliminations were held on the same day as the finals and the level of riding was more indicative of a final than a qualifiers; no one was holding back. Runs that could have won X two years ago did not even reach the finals. Half the field was eliminated and everyone that reached the finals was throwing multiple double flips and corks in their runs. Both Russ Henshaw and Nick Goepper each put down impressive runs to reach the finals.
For the first time in freeskiing history, the slopestyle course was held at night, under countless beaming floodlights. The course was immaculate and in front of a roaring crowd the athletes displayed a stellar performance of athletic prowess and creativity. Russ Henshaw mixed up his textbook slopestyle run with a double underflip safety grab, switch double rodeo 900° japan grab, leftside double cork 1080° and a rightside double cork 1260°; an exceptional run that placed Russ firmly in 5th with an 89.00. 17-year-old Nick Goepper, the shooting star of the Marker Völkl Team, kept up his incredible silver medal from the Dew Tour only a week ago, making his run even more technical. His best slopestyle run consisted of a switch 270°, 270° off the top close-out rail, back 450° gap off the flat rail, left double rodeo 900° japan, left double cork 1260° mute, switch rightside double cork 1260° mute into a rightside double cork 1260° mute to japan. This super technical run scored Nick a 94.66 and could well have earned him 1st place, however Tom Wallisch managed to put together a flawless technical run just pushing Goepper off of the top position. This was his first ever X Games and the young Marker Völkl Team member is absolutely stoked: “This is a dream come true for me,” Nick said. “I couldn’t imagine being a rookie and getting a medal here, and now it’s happened, I couldn’t be happier!” Congratulations Nick, and we look forward to seeing more successes from you in the future.
Nick Goepper Photo Credit: X Games, ESPN Eventmedia
ABOUT NICK GOEPPER
The now 17-year-old Nick Goepper was without a doubt one of the big surprises of the American freestyle scene last season, particularly considering the fact that he is from Lawrenceburg, Indiana – a rather flat midwestern state far away from the big US ski resorts. Nevertheless the well- rounded sports talent already started skiing at the age of 5 and has become one of the most talented riders of his generation. During the past two seasons he was chasing the competition circuit through mountain resorts all over the continent and increasingly made his presence felt. It all culminated when he won the Dumont Cup last season applying his incredible trick arsenal to the slopestyle course in Sunday River. Nick Goepper is definitely a force to consider this winter!
ABOUT RUSS HENSHAW
The 21-year-old Australian from the small town of Jindabyne is undoubtedly one of the best big air athletes on the planet. Despite his young age he is already looking back to a long story of success in both slopestyle and big air contests. For example he won the legendary Jon Olsson Invitational in 2010 and placed second in slopestyle at the Winter X Games last season. But Russ is not only shining at competitions, the music fan also counts among the biggest ski movie stars with several outstanding segments in MSP films under his belt, arguably the most prestigious showcase within the freeski scene. Following the rupture of a crucial ligament last spring, he was missing his favourite pastimes skateboarding and trampolining this summer, but due to a successful rehab program Russ Henshaw is back on track again and looking forward to another great season 2012.
For further information please contact Jean-Claude Pedrolini, Freeski Manager Marker Völkl, through firstname.lastname@example.org.