- Freestyle Skiing
David Wise's alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — “Hey, Nayeli,” he said peering into the camera. “Daddy loves you!”
Those were the words of David Wise, the freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medalist Tuesday night after he won his event’s first-ever Olympic medal.
David Wise is at the top of his sport. He’s always smiling among his friends and competitors, however, he’s not like the rest of the field. He is mature.
Not to say the rest of the freestyle skiers of halfpipe are not mature, but Wise is mature far beyond his years. At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexandra, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Halfpiper David Wise is a full-time family man
At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.
Not exactly the picture you had in mind while watching him nail two double corks wearing baggy pants.
Wise is, well, wise. He knows where his head should be at all time, focused on being the best father and husband he can be. Then comes skiing.
“I think my lifestyle — the fact that I have a little girl to take care of and a wife — really takes the pressure off of my skiing, because first and foremost I have to be a good husband and father.”
Really? He just landed two double corks…
While the rest of his competitors are hanging with their friends, traveling the world searching for endless winter, hitting the party scenes accustom to their action sports lifestyles, Wise is hurrying home for quality time with the family. That is what sets his mental game apart from his competition. He likely has the most stable life of them all.
In an interview prior to the Games, Wise spoke about his ability to separate his two lives.
“When you’re out there skiing for something bigger than just yourself, it just takes a lot of the pressure off for me. I’m happy and content, fulfilled. I have an amazing life outside of skiing. I don’t have to perform at any time, I just get to go out and do what I enjoy doing.”
It was that ability to take himself out of the Olympic frenzy of becoming a worldwide superstar that let him, well, become just that. He did end up winning the gold, after all.
More than winning any gold, he won the first gold for his sport and that means a lot.
“To get this sport here in the Olympics and on the world’s stage is an amazing feeling. It’s just an amazing honor to be standing on top of that podium tonight.”
Well, now that the gold is in the bag and Team USA can add another one to their overall medal count — thank goodness for the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park bringing home all five golds thus far — Wise can get back to his other life, and back to the Baby Bjorn.
St. Louis photographer
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