Tallmadge -- One date with an Olympic skier as a result of a contest most likely would be chalked up to luck, but for Annie Rogers, a second opportunity to hang out with a celebrity is a sign of a budding friendship.
Rogers, a 2010 graduate of Tallmadge High School, met up with 20-year-old 2014 Olympic Winter Games bronze medalist Nick Goepper again while he was in Ohio visiting a friend last week.
They first met last April in New York City for their official date -- Rogers' prize as the winner of the contest Goepper held on Twitter after he won the medal in the slopestyle event.
Rogers videotaped herself singing and playing the guitar and submitted her entry for the contest.
Before meeting in New York City, Rogers said she and Goepper got to know each other by talking on the phone and texting so it wasn't as awkward as it might have been if they hadn't communicated beforehand.
During the initial day of their jam-packed, three-day date, they saw the Broadway show "After Midnight" featuring Vanessa Williams, and had dinner at a steak house in Midtown before seeing a Rangers game that night.
"That was awesome. [The Rangers game] was both of our favorite parts of the date, I think," Rogers said.
They strolled around Central Park the next day and grabbed some coffee before heading to a Mets game and dinner. A walk around Manhattan led them to stop for dessert before calling it a night. They stayed in separate rooms at Le Parker Meridien New York in Midtown.
"We were both exhausted by the end of it. We were ready to crash for sure," Rogers said.
The itinerary came from a combination of efforts of Goepper, his connections for commercial endorsements and the work of his agent and publicist, she said.
Rogers and Geopper kept in touch through occasional phone calls and text messages while he was traveling around the country for skiing competitions, training and publicity events, and she was finishing up a semester in college.
Rogers, who lives with her parents in Tallmadge, plans to graduate from Kent State University in December with a bachelor's degree in zoology. She wants to pursue a career as a pathologist assistant.
Meeting Goepper twice wasn't part of the plan, she said. But after they got along so well, she wanted to meet up with him again if they had time.
This time, Rogers wrangled two of her friends, and Goepper chose four of his -- two of whom are skiers and the others are from his hometown in Lawrenceburg, Ind. -- to meet at Cedar Point June 3. That night they drove east to Goepper's friend's house in Perry and camped out on the shore of Lake Erie.
"It was great. We both got to bring both of our groups of friends together and introduce everyone, and it was a blast," Rogers said.
She added right now she and Goepper aren't dating and are just friends, but she would be open to a romantic relationship if it were to develop.
"Me and Nick get along great, but we're keeping things super-casual. We have a great time when we're together so we thought it would be really fun to get all of our friends together and just hang out and enjoy summer a little bit," she said.
They plan to meet again sometime this summer, she said.
"He's really easy to get along with, really outgoing and friendly. It was just instantly really easy to be around each other," she said.
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