Not many people can say they’ve gone on a date with an Olympic medalist.
Annie Rogers now can.
Rogers, 21, of Tallmadge and a senior at Kent State University majoring in zoology, was selected from thousands of entries to go on a date with Nick Goepper.
In February, Goepper, 20, a bronze medalist for the U.S. ski team at the Sochi Winter Olympics, launched a contest on Twitter for one young lady to win a date with him.
Rogers caught his eye with her rendition of I’m Yours by Jason Mraz that she posted on YouTube.
Last weekend, Goepper flew her to New York City.
“It was an amazing weekend,” Rogers said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Nick had so many fun things lined up for us and totally exceeded my expectations. He is a great guy, and we had an awesome time hanging out together.”
On Saturday, Goepper took Rogers to see the Broadway show After Midnight featuring Vanessa Williams, with dinner to follow at Empire Steak House.
The day was not over yet, though, as Goepper surprised Rogers with tickets to a Rangers hockey game at Madison Square Garden. Their seats were just a few rows back from the players’ benches.
“That was the highlight of the weekend for both of us,” Rogers said. “It was just a great game. We were getting really into it. The Rangers fans are awesome. They are so outspoken and loud. It was really funny hearing them yell at the refs in their New York accents.”
On Sunday, the young couple enjoyed a spring stroll through New York’s iconic Central Park and ate lunch at Buca di Beppo.
“The park is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be,” Rogers said. “It is in the middle of Manhattan, but you really do feel like you are in a huge national park when you are there. You can’t hear any of the background noise from the city. It is so quiet and beautiful there.”
After a ride on the subway, Goepper and Rogers caught a Mets game at Citi Field and later ate dinner at The Smith restaurant in midtown Manhattan.
On their last night together in the big city, Rogers said she and Goepper decided to just walk around the city and take in all the sights and sounds.
“We walked mostly around midtown,” Rogers said. “I loved it there. It’s a beautiful city and I would love to go back.”
Rogers said she doesn’t know if returning to New York will ever be the same.
“How can you top that trip?” she said. “I could not ask for a better way to experience the city for the first time. I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity.
“It was so cool to meet Nick and realize that he is exactly like the person that he comes off like in his interviews. He is super sweet and genuine.”
Rogers has returned home and to her studies at KSU and is hopeful she and Goepper will stay in touch.
“This will definitely be a cool story to tell forever,” Rogers said.
Heather Beyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.