Lately, the person working out on a spin bike next to you at the Breckenridge Recreation Center could have been one of the up-and-coming stars for the next Olympics.
With the abundance of ski areas in Summit County and the upcoming Dew Tour in Breckenridge, the world”s best skiers and riders are making Breckenridge their early season training site of choice. Slopestyle skiing was added as a sport for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and since October there has been no shortage of freeskiing athletes training, both on and off the mountain, in Breckenridge. Here’s a look at three of the most energetic, enthusiastic and sure to be exciting athletes to watch in the future.
Emilia Wint oozes enthusiasm. And with her enthusiasm, it’s easy to understand why she goes big and jumps fearlessly. Her jumping ability has carried her to a number of top finishes, including finishing third at the Dew Tour in Killington last season. But behind the scenes, she’s still a down-to-earth teenager who recently graduated high school. In talking with her, she’s a humble, polite, girl-next-door that you’d never suspect of being on her way to becoming one of the biggest stars in the sport of freeskiing.
Next there’s Nick Goepper, who can hardly restrain his excitement to get out of the gym and back on the snow and in the park.
This particular day he was getting some good natured ribbing from his teammates Emilia and Keri Herman. Nick goes all out both on the snow and off. Since graduating high school a few weeks ago, the Indiana native has been working out and swimming. Turns out it was melted snow, in the form of a swimming pool, that initially sparked Nick’s interest. These days Nick swims to keep in shape and competes in slopestyle skiing. Having made the podium at every Dew Tour stop last season, he’s a guy to keep your eye on at the upcoming Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, from Dec. 13-16, 2012.
And that energetic young lady keeping the three of them focused was none other than Keri Herman. Keri knows a thing or two about focus, having racked up a number of podium finishes, including silvers at the Winter X Games in 2010 and 2011. Energy exudes from Keri, who has a passion for just about everything. Perhaps that’s why she originally played ice hockey in high school before turning to skiing while attending the University of Denver. The switch has paid off for her, with her recent win in Argentina in September at the first official slopestyle qualifier for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Herman is now the current FIS World Cup point leader and will remain focused on keeping her ranking all the way up to the Olympics.
The next time you’re walking down Main Street, or having a cup of coffee, or working out at the Rec Center in Breck, take a careful look at that person next to you; the rising stars of freeskiing look just like you and me — off the mountain, that is!