Nick Goepper flies off a rail at the FIS World Cup opener in Cardrona, New Zealand. (Getty Images-Hannah Johnston)
CARDRONA, New Zealand (Aug. 25) - X Games champion Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) set the tone for the 2014 Olympic freeskiing season with a win in the Audi Quattro New Zealand Winter Games slopestyle on Sunday. Goepper took the win with an aggressive second run featuring an impressive run that included a switch right flat spin 900 with a progressive "Screamin' Seemann" grab and a challenging trick - an unnatural double 1260 true tail grab. Weather conditions have been difficult for athletes during the games and Sunday made no exception with flat light.
Nick Goepper (Lawrenceburg, IN) took the win at the FIS World Cup to open the 2014 Olympic season.
Goepper's difficult second run featured a progressive new grab, a "screamin' semen," to his switch right flat spin 900 and an equally challenging unnatural double 1260 true tail grab.
McRae Williams (Salt Lake City, UT), the top qualifier out of the elimination round, put down a great run with minimal mistakes to land in fifth.
U.S. Freeskiing rookie Willie Borm (Chaska, MN) took sixth.
Great Britain's James Woods took second and Australia's Russ Henshaw completed the continental men's podium.
For the women Devin Logan (West Dover, VT), who opened with a halfpipe win last weekend crashed in both runs to take fifth.
U.S. Freeskiing rookie Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, MT) took fourth in her first World Cup appearance.
The U.S. finishes are vital for securing maximum quota spots for the Sochi Olympics, where freeskiing slopestyle and halfpipe will debut.
QUOTES Nick Goepper For my first run I did what I practiced in training. On the second run I went out and did something completely new that I hadn't practiced, but was confident I could land. I mixed it up and tried to get a little more creative on the jumps and it ended up working out. I am so happy to be here right now.
Mike Jankowski, Head Coach
Awesome run by Nick going for the win. That is the type of aggressive skiing that it takes to be the best. I am looking forward to more great things to come for Nick this season.