Winter Olympics 2018: Team USA's Nick Goepper wins silver in ski slopestyle
Goepper had a phenomenal final run to vault himself into second place and win a medal
Gus Kenworthy missed the podium in Sunday's men's ski slopestyle final, but another Team USA member was there to pick him up. Nick Goepper, 23, took silver after putting down a 93.60 final run that vaulted him into the silver medal spot after failing to crack 70 points in his first two trips down the course.
Oystein Braaten took gold for Norway, scoring a 95 on his first run that was never topped. Alex Beaulieu-Marchand from Canada wound up with the bronze. Goepper delivered Team USA its 10th medal of the Games on the same day that short-track speed skater John-Henry Kruegerfinal.
Kenworthy, coming off a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics, has been one of the most prominent American athletes at these Olympics, but he just couldn't seem to stick his landings in the final. None of his three runs were clean, and his bid to become a repeat Olympic medalist came to a disappointing close. These Games were huge for Kenworthy, who came out as gay about two years after Sochi's Games.
Kenworthy was skiing injuredand dealing with a severely bruised left hip. He had a hematoma on the hip drained twice before Sunday's final. In more uplifting news: he did wake up to a on Sunday morning in South Korea.
For Goepper, it's his second Olympic appearance, and he couldn't have asked for much better. He improved upon his bronze medal in Sochi, and he made a real run at gold as well. Beaulieu-Marchand finished with a 92.40, which he picked up in his second run.
In an Olympics that are full of redemption stories, Goepper's is no exception. Goepper opened up about his depression after Sochi, talking about his struggles and aimlessness after the Games. Only 19 at the time, Goepper said that he flirted with the idea of suicide. Thankfully, he didn't follow through. Now, just four years later, Goepper is a silver medalist.
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