Nick Goepper wins Gold in Slopestyle Dew Tour
MARKER VOLKL FREESKI TEAM’S WONDER-KID, NICK GOEPPER WINS GOLD IN SLOPESTYLE AT THE WINTER DEW TOUR FINALS IN SNOWBASIN!
Nick Geopper© Winter Dew Tour
Snowbasin, Utah played host to the third and final stop of the annual Winter Dew Tour; the Toyota Championship. Fog descended onto the Slopestyle course for the finals which had been plagued by unseasonably warm temperatures. Nevertheless the field of international professional freeskiers took to the course with extreme determination, displaying an array of trickery never seen in slopestyle competitions before. Nick Gopper shone through this incredibly talented group of athletes, winning the Gold medal after winning Silver at the previous two stops.
Nick Geopper © Winter Dew Tour
Being one of the oldest ski resorts in America and after hosting the Winter Olympics a decade ago, it is quite fitting that such a historically significant resort as Snowbasin, Utah was the venue for yet another momentous event. After very competitive stops in Breckenridge and Killington it was time for the best of the best to face off for the Toyota Championship, known as the finals of the Winter Dew Tour. The intimidating Slopestyle course contained three jib/rail features with two options each, followed by a 55 foot jump and a 70 foot jump. Warm weather before and during the competition made the landings very soft, a welcome change to the icy conditions faced in Killington and athletes took advantage of these favourable conditions, going huge on every feature.
Marker Völkl Athlete Nick Goepper was pre-qualified for finals due to his second place in Killington, however his team mates Russ Henshaw (AUS) and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (CAN) had to face off against twenty-five other professional freeskiers in the semi-finals. The Australian threw down a flawless run that had multiple double flips, and a flip off the cannon box, qualifying him in a well deserved first place. Seventeen year old Alex Beaulieu-Marchand also threw an impressive run in the seriously competitive semi-finals, getting 6th place. The nine athletes that qualified in the semi- finals now faced the three pre-qualified athletes in a competition that will go down in the history books as one of the more groundbreaking slopestyle competitions to date.
The weather took a turn for the worse for the finals, with fog affecting visibility throughout the competition. Russ Henshaw continued his impressive form during his comeback season. A similar run to the semi-finals gained him a 5th place and a respectable 4th place in the overall Dew Tour Rankings. The story of the day however, belonged to the young American from Lawrenceburg Indiana, Nick Goepper. After finishing in 2nd place at the last two Dew Tour stops as well as at X Games he was eager to end his second place streak. Throughout practice Nick never held back, with other athletes commenting on his continuos machine-like precision on every single feature.In the finals he decided to step up his second place scoring run a little more, which gave him the edge on everyone else in the field. Goepper’s run consisted of a 450° on 270° off the down rail, a switch up to 450° out of the up-down rail, into a switch 270° on, to rodeo off the cannon box, into a switch left side double cork 1080° japan grab, finishing things off with a mind-blowing switch rightside double cork 1440° mute grab, his first ever attempt at this trick! This run scored a 95.00 and won him the Gold medal ahead of previous X Games and Dew Tour Gold medalists Tom Wallisch and Bobby Brown. “I couldn't be happier,” an ecstatic Nick Goepper said. “I've been so close all season and to finally get on top feels incredible.” In addition to placing an amazing second place in the overall Dew Tour Rankings, only 12 points behind Dew Cup winner TomWallisch, Nick also won the Paul Mitchell Breakthrough Athlete of the Year prize, awarded to the one athlete at Dew who showed a career starting performance throughout the season. This undoubtedly was the case for Marker Völkl Freeski Team member who now has well and truly cemented his name as one of freeskiings most consistently jaw-dropping athletes.
Nick Geopper © Winter Dew Tour
On the women’s side Marker Völkl rookie Emilia Wint underlined her strong season, too. This time the 17-year-old from Colorado missed the podium by one spot – Kaya Turski won in front of Anna Segal and Devin Logan, the same personnel that already graced the X Games podium a good week ago – but a fourth place finish in Snowbird earned her a spot among the top three in the Overall Dew Tour Slopestyle Ranking. Third place behind Kaya Turski and Devin Logan at the premier freeski event series of the season immediately cements Emilia Wint among the best freestyle skiers of the planet. This year her astonishing rise to fame came to late to earn her an invitation to Winter X Games, but next season she will be a force to reckon on every stage.
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!
Nick Geopper© Winter Dew Tour
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.
ABOUT EMILIA WINT
The Denver born 17-year-old Emilia started skiing at three in Breckenridge Colorado. At a young age she looked up to the successful olympic downhill racer Picabo Street, but soon developed a love for freeskiing, with a goal of also representing her country at the Olympics some day. She has won the USASA two years in a row, the Winter Park Open in 2011 and was invited to Nine Queens last year. Already an active member of the freeski community, Emilia once rallied her entire field hockey team to write letters to the Dew Tour with the goal of getting more women’s events on the tour. The young intellectual spent the last year completing high school online so she could spend more time skiing. Now finished with school Emilia will take a year off to focus on skiing even more before going to college, undoubtedly we will see many more successes from the young and super friendly ripper.
For further information please contact Jean-Claude Pedrolini, Freeski Manager Marker Völkl, through email@example.com.