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Nick Goepper details suicidal thoughts after Sochi Olympics

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Nick Goepper said he had suicidal thoughts after winning an Olympic ski slopestyle bronze medal in Sochi in February 2014.

“That summer of 2014, I really experienced this, like, emotional distress. And it really just started to slide emotionally,” Goepper said in an X Games interview published Saturday. “There came a point where I was drinking every day, and I was constantly thinking about ways to end my own life.

“I was, like, flirting, with that idea. I wasn’t ballsy or committed enough to actually do it. It was like a really messed up way of saying help me, but without saying it to a friend or a family member.”

Goepper, the pre-Sochi favorite, immersed himself in appearances and activities immediately after being part of the U.S. Olympic podium sweep with Joss Christensen and Gus Kenworthy.

Goepper’s attorney said he suffered from anxiety and depression when he threw rocks at cars in his native Indiana in August 2014, causing $8,000 in damage, according to a Cincinnati TV station.

“He called one night, and he said, ‘Mom, I’m thinking about going to get a bottle of vodka and go sit in my car in Lambs Canyon [Utah] and drink the whole thing,’” his mom, Linda, said in the X Games video. “Lambs Canyon was where another skier had committed suicide [2010 Olympic aerials silver medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson in 2011]. I knew that Nick was in trouble.”

Goepper, who won his third straight X Games title in January 2015 and dislocated a shoulder the next month, said he attended rehab in Texas for two months in fall 2015.

He was 11th at X Games in 2016 and 2017 but came back this season to become the first American to qualify for the Olympic men’s slopestyle team.

“We almost lost Nick,” Goepper’s dad, Chris, said. “He almost killed himself, so it doesn’t get any lower than that.”

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Top curling video and social media moments

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For nearly three straight weeks, curling dominated the Olympic airwaves, and while the U.S., Sweden and Canada all came away with gold medals, there were still plenty of highlights away from the ice.

In the mixed doubles tournament, fans were introduced to Team USA’s #HamFam, Matt and Becca Hamilton, who became instant sensations. Matt was even confused for some other celebrities, as people tried to nail down exactly who he looked like.

And he got to “meet” his hero, Aaron Rodgers… of course only through Twitter (for now!)

 In the women’s tournament, fans were introduced to Japan’s “sunshine team,” who were all all smiles on the way to their bronze medal win.

Three Stars from men’s hockey at the Olympics

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NBC Olympics staff selected three special performers from the enitre men’s tournament at the Olympics.

FIRST STAR
Eeli Tolvanen, Finland: The 18-year-old winger was the undisputed breakout star of the men’s tournament. Even though Finland was eliminated in the quarterfinals, Tolvanen’s tally of nine points still ranked second overall as he averaged nearly two points per game. He scored in his Olympic debut and also tallied two assists against eventual silver medalist Germany. He followed that up with two scores against Norway. Tolvanen paced his team past an energized South Korean team in the qualification playoffs, assisting in Finland’s opening three goals. After a sizzling Olympic performance, Tolvanen could be on his way to the NHL to help the Nashville Predators chase the Stanley Cup once again.

NBCOlympics.com: OAR defeat Germany to win hockey gold 

SECOND STAR
Nikita Gusev, Olympic Athletes from Russia: The Vegas Golden Knights prospect tallied four goals and eight assists in just six games throughout the 2018 Winter Games. He also struck twice when it mattered most, helping OAR force OT in the gold-medal game. Trailing 3-2 in the final frame and playing shorthanded, Gusev was able to sneak a backhanded shot into the back of the net to knot the score with less than a minute remaining. Then, in the extra session, it was Gusev who made a beautiful cross-ice pass to set up the golden goal by Kirill Kaprizov.

NBCOlymipcs.com: Canada claim bronze with 6-4 over Czech Republic

THIRD STAR
Ryan Donato, United States: The 21-year-old Boston Bruins prospect was bright spot for Team USA despite the disappointing finish. The sniper lifted his team to a crucial preliminary-round victory over Slovakia, grabbing both goals in a 2-1 victory. He came back to haunt Slovakia again with two more scores in the qualification playoffs, and though the United States’ tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic, Donato notched one last goal in the 3-2 loss to finish with a team-leading five goals and six points. Donato, along with fellow collegiate athletes Troy Terry and Jordan Greenway, surprised many with their contributions on the ice. If management had known of their game-changing impact in advance, the American roster might have included more NCAA players.