Olympic Freestyle Skier Joss Christensen on Teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper: "It's Like We're Family"
Olympian bromance! Team USA freestyle skiers and Olympian medalists Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper have grown quite close after competing in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The young athletes opened up to Us Weekly senior reporter Jennifer Peros in Russia on Saturday, Feb. 15 about how they've helped each other through tough times, especially when Christensen's dad died six months ago.
Christensen walked with a picture of his dad, who passed away after battling a congenital heart condition, in his pocket at the Opening Ceremony. "I pretty much brought it everywhere because I know he wanted to be here so bad," the 22-year-old Park City, Utah native explained. Christensen, Kenworthy, 22, and Goepper, 19, swept the competition at the men's ski slopestyle event on Thursday, Feb. 13, with Christensen earning gold. "I wasn't going to be mad or disappointed if I didn't do well. I just wanted to know that I tried, and that's all my dad cared about," he told Us. "As long as I was having fun and giving it my all."
Christensen credits his teammates for helping him cope with the loss of his father, and keeping him positive during the competition.
"My friends have been the most amazing people because I was out of town [in New Zealand] when it happened," he explained. "We've all grown so close from traveling together all over the world, it's almost like we're family. I couldn't have asked for better people to help me out. Everyone has been so supportive and loving and caring. It's been great. It's been a good way to stay positive, and makes you think of the happy parts of life."
"We love you man!" Kenworthy said.
The guys have bonded even more with each other while staying in together in Sochi. Though the athletes have had to miss out on a normal college experience, they got a taste of dorm life and cafeteria food while living in the Olympic Village.
"When we showed up here, our room literally just had two twin beds," Kenworthy said. "[Roommate Bobby Brown] turned to me and said, "'So much for not going to college. Here we go!'"
As for the cafeteria food, Christensen called it "gross," Goepper "disgusting" and Kenworthy confessed it's "not that good."
"I've eaten so many potatoes. That's like all they eat here, potatoes," Goepper complained, but added: "It's neat to go to the cafeteria, though, and not only sit with freeskiers but to hang with other Olympians."
For more on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi -- including personal stories from the Team USA athletes, and tons of photos -- pick up Us Weekly's special Olympics bookazine!