X Games gold medalist Nick Goepper may grind his way to Sochi in 2014 where slopestyle skiing will pop its Winter Olympics cherry. This longtime X Games staple is known for the adrenaline-packed tricks that the skiiers must navigate over the course, which includes leaps over waist-high barriers, off-axis flips and slides over precipitous ramps. The course should have at least three different types of features such as table-top jumps and quarter pipes, according to the FIS rule book.
The 18-year-old Goepper, a Winter X Games silver medalist in 2012 who took the gold in Aspen in January, is angling for a spot at the event in its Winter Olympics debut next year.
So meaningful has the inclusion of the event been to slopestylers that many freeskiers either delayed or interrupted their retirements to try to qualify for the event in Sochi, according to X games organizer ESPN.
The women’s slopestyle event’s inclusion in the Olympics is poignant not only for its obvious boost for gender equality, but also because it was championed by freeskiing pro Sarah Burke, who died at 29 in January 2012 after a training accident in Utah.