TALLMADGE: U.S. Olympic team skier Nick Goepper will be taking home a bronze medal after competing in the men’s slopestyle event last week in Sochi.
He’s now on another mission: to find love.
On Valentine’s Day, Goepper launched a contest on Twitter to win a date with him after the Winter Games. One lucky lady will be flown to wherever Goepper is training.
All contenders must do is catch his eye via Twitter (@NickGoepper) or Instagram.
Since his announcement, Goepper’s Twitter feed has been blowing up with posts from hopeful girls from around the country.
It appears the post from a young woman from Tallmadge has hit the target.
Annie Rogers, 21, is a senior at Kent State University majoring in zoology. She has the brains and beauty to match her singing talent, which itself is impressive considering she has not taken a singing or music lesson.
She taught herself to play the acoustic guitar her senior year of high school and learned the song I’m Yours by Jason Mraz in less than 15 minutes for the contest with Goepper.
“I think it gives off a nice, mellow vibe,” Rogers said. “I just wanted to show something that was more me, and I think that song says that.”
She posted the song after having a dinner date with her older sister, Kelly, on Valentine’s Day. Later that evening and through the weekend, her video took off on Twitter and Facebook.
On Sunday, Goepper tweeted @Annie “The talent is pouring in. Annie Rogers with a @jason_mraz cover. This one is heartfelt.”
Her video has received nearly 4,600 views on YouTube.com. On Monday, sections of Roger’s video were featured in an interview on NBC.com with Goepper and Jeremy Bloom, a former skier now working as an analyst for NBC.
“Annie Rogers, you rock,” Bloom said as he and Goepper applauded her effort. “Well done.”
Goepper, 19, had a smile on his face after watching her video.
“That was amazing,” Goepper said. “That one won me over. That’s top-notch.”
It was that smile that prompted Rogers to submit her video in the first place.
“The first thing that I noticed about him was his smile,” Rogers said as her brown eyes sparkled. “He has such a charming, boyish smile that is kind of magnetic.”
Rogers said something that was particularly striking about Goepper was his pride for family and his hometown.
“I love that he is so proud of his small-town, Midwest roots,” Rogers said.
She said she loved learning more about Goepper, an Indiana native, while watching him on The Late Show with David Letterman last month.
“He talked about spending Sunday afternoons walking down railroad tracks with his family and looking for insulator pipes,” Rogers said. “He learned how to ski in his backyard. He used to build his own obstacles and taught himself crazy tricks like jumping backward off of trees and couches.”
Rogers’ decision to sing as a way to catch Goepper’s eye was fitting, as her family is filled with musicians. Her father, David, played in a band and traveled on the road for five years. Her older sister, Kelly, graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in theater in 2009.
David Rogers said he never wants to see his daughters’ hearts get broken, so he told Annie to be realistic.
“Don’t get your hopes too high,” he said he told her. “There are an awful lot of girls that want to go out on a date with this guy.”
He said he and his wife, Angie, tell their daughters to simply follow their hearts.
“I’ve always told my daughters to follow their hearts and do what they want to do,” David Rogers said. “Don’t let other people tell you what to do. Do what you think is important. Be true to yourself.”
Annie Rogers said she is going to remain realistic but hopeful.
“If I don’t win, maybe I will get a little consolation date after he takes out his Valentine date,” she said. “That will be awesome. It was just one of those fun things that you said you did. You will never wonder.”
Heather Beyer can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.