Goepper announced Thursday morning that he may not be done competing after all.
Nick Goepper speaking at the annual Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast. Photo by Travis Thayer, Eagle Country 99.3.
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Business professionals from throughout Dearborn County gathered at Perfect North Slopes on Thursday morning.
The main lodge at the slopes played host to the annual Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast.
The event featured two exciting regional programs: the Leadership Dearborn Program and the Maverick High School Business Plan Competition, and guest speaker Nick Goepper.
Goepper, a three-time Olympic medalist, returned to the place where he made himself into a world-class skier. The Lawrenceburg native spoke for about 20 minutes about his career, entrepreneurship, and what he's been up to lately.
In January, Goepper announced his retirement from slopestyle and big air competition. Over the course of his career, Goepper medaled in three-straight Olympics, earning two silver medals and one bronze - a feat his peers have said will likely never be done again in slopestyle skiing.
Following the Olympic games in February 2022, Goepper said he felt "very over it." While he still loved skiing and competing, Goepper admitted that the slopestyle event had gotten "repetitive."
Around the beginning of the summer of 2022, an unexpected opportunity presented itself. Rollerblading.
Goepper spoke about his love for rollerblading, mentioned the many trips to the Lawrenceburg Skatepark "back in the day." When he learned that rollerblading skatepark might be a part of the 2026 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he though to himself, "oh, yeah why not."
So he immersed himself into learning tricks and putting together a competition run. He would eventually travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Rollerblading World Championship, where he placed 9th in his first-ever competition.
Following the competition, Goepper made the decision to retire from competitive skiing.
So how did a professional skier come out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana?
Goepper's answer was circumstance.
"You can get thousands and thousands of repetitions right here at Perfect North. In two hours, I could do 60 laps on this terrain park out here, and not only that I could do it after school for four or five hours and again for 10 hours on the weekend."
That isn't the case at big city ski slopes in Salt Lake City or Denver, where the terrain is huge and lifts shut down before dark.
"It was a huge advantage to grow up in a small town like this with an adaquate terrain park, I got an insane number or repetitions and hours on my skis even before the age of 15."
Goepper added that night skiing is unique to the Midwest and smaller ski areas, which allowed him more repetitions.
"Perfect North has been an amazing supporter of mine over the years, not only in my career, but the folks that work here are incredibly great people and they support me and my family personally. It's been a really great journey in tandem with Perfect North over the years," said Goepper.
He went on to tell a story from when he was 14 years old. At that time, he did not have his own pair of skies and had to rent from the shop at Perfect North Slopes. When he broke a second pair of skies, they stopped renting to him. That's when he learned about self-promotion and made some skiing videos with his friends, networked to find a sales rep, and ended up with a free pair of Volkl Skies on his doorstep.
Throughout his skiing career, Goepper learned that taking calculated risks and having big goals were key to his success.
Right now, Goepper has a new big goal. He is not sure if he is fully going to retire yet because he is interested in pursuing the half pipe skiing discipline.
"You might see me in the World Cups and possibly the X Games in the next couple years, but my big picture goal being Milan 2026 Winter Olympics," said Goepper.
When he is ready to finally call it a career, the real estate business is on his radar.
The Maverick Challenge is a high school business planning competition for high school students in southern Indiana that aims to further develop the innovative spirit of high school students while showing them viable career opportunities through entrepreneurship.
The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the statewide pitch competition, Innovate WtihIN, where students have the opportunity to collaborate with world-class innovators and compete for prizes such as $25,000 in seed funding, up to $10,000 in tuition to any Indiana college, and additional prizes worth $5,000.
“High schoolers do an incredible amount of work and really dive deep into their business ideas and do a tremendous job and learn a lot throughout the process,” said Kranz.
AIM YP Maverick Challenge coordinator Hollie Stoops and Lawrenceburg High School teacher Zane White introduced
"We couldn't do what we do without the Chamber's involvement, Ivy Tech, and Young Professionals," said White. "It's really neat to have our kids participate in a challenge like this where they go through a complete process of generating business ideas, pitch them to a certain group of individuals, they are judged and given feedback and are asked to make changes, speak in front of people, think critically, network, and more."
There were 33 students who participated in the Maverick Challenge, which was administered through a marketing class at Lawrenceburg High School. Nine of those students were selected to move on in the process and evolve their projects further.
Of those nine, three were presented with $500 awards. They are Benjamin Stoops, Madison Broussard and Ella Shelton. Stoops was the top placer among students from Lawrenceburg, placing 2nd at the regional round.
Photo by Dearborn County YP.
Eric Kranz wrapped up the Business Breakfast with information about the 2023 Leadership Dearborn program.
This year, the program will consist of six monthly sessions and wrap up celebration at the Chamber Annual Dinner in November.
Classes will meet at various locations throughout the county to expose participants to important institutions, employers and regional leaders.
Returning as facilitator this year, Angel Beets, a partner with Gillman Partners, brings expertise in marketing/communication, higher education and a wealth of training experience. We are excited to have her join us again for the 2023 program. Topics covered will include team dynamics, self-assessment, time management, managing priorities, managing under pressure, leadership traits, future planning and more.
For registration information please contact Eric Kranz, President and CEO of the Dearborn County Chamber of Commerce, at 812-537-0814 or email at email@example.com. The cost of the program is $1,000 and registration closes on May 12th. Participation is limited so please reach out early to ensure availability.