David Wise, 23, captivated the crowd at the Sochi Olympics and won gold in the sport's Olympic debut during his halfpipe performance. While he has instantly become a popular household name, he has an important family member to answer; his 2-year-old daughter, Nayeli. “I came here straight from the X Games, and she was there watching and was excited! I remember putting my gold medal around her neck, and she said, “Oh nice necklace dad is that for me?” If she could verbalize it that would be her advice to me, which would be to give her another cool necklace,” said Wise.
Although he is an athlete in a competitive sport, Wise, who is involved with P&G for the ‘Thank You, Mom’ campaign and Pampers says that he values family life and finds it to be cool and exciting to share memories with his daughter. “When she grows up she will be able to ski with me and watch my competitions.”
The gold medalist from Reno, NV answered questions about the overall excitement of winning gold for the first-ever skiing event and his preparation that came with winning.
Examiner: What emotions did you feel winning gold for the first-ever freeskiing event?
It was a rollercoaster! I landed my run pretty well, but I wanted the opportunity to better my score. On the second run, I had a couple of extra tricks I wanted to do! Unfortunately, I crashed, and I was the second to the last guy to go. I was still sitting in first watching Justin Dorey, who is one of the best riders in the world, come down and knowing that potentially he [could] beat my first run was pretty nerve racking! So when his run didn’t beat my score, I just felt this amazing and overwhelming relief! I turned to Mike Riddle, who was in second place, and was just amazed that we were on the first podium ever for skier halfpipe- just being a part of that little piece of history is such an honor!
Examiner: Were you ever worried that you wouldn’t do as well based on the weather conditions?
Yes, I was worried! We heard the weather forecast, but I was trying to be hopeful and optimistic, and [I] kept telling myself, it would be ok; [however, ] at the same time you have to be prepared. I had a couple of different runs planned in case the weather was bad. Waking up that morning, seeing the fog outside and watching the women’s giant slalom on TV while it is heavily snowing and raining made me nervous, but it’s the Olympics, and you can’t take a day off - you still have just to go out there and compete! When you are a [competitive] skier, you just have to roll with it, take what comes at you and do the best you can!
Examiner: Besides winning gold, what was your motivation to win?
My motivation is to do something new! I like the sport; I am a part of it because not everything has been done yet, which means there is room for innovation and room for exciting new things which is what I enjoy. Even if I could win a competition with a run I have done before, I don’t want to because I am always feeding off of progression and doing something new!
Examiner: How much of a win is preparation and how much is luck?
You can be prepared for anything and still have it not go your way, which is how I feel it goes sometimes! My philosophy about competition has always been I am not going to leave any stone unturned. I am not going to slack off in any way because I want to feel as if I did everything I possibly could so that if I do come up short, I won’t have any regrets! I enjoy that side of the sport where I can do everything in my power but still have this rivalry with my competitors.
Examiner: Have you had a chance to celebrate, and if so, what did you do?
The X games are different; I get to ski right up to my family when I am done. But with the Olympics there is a big barrier between us. After I [had got] done talking to all the people I needed to talk to and got sick of blowing them kisses, I jumped over the barrier and tackled my wife because I was just so excited to see her, and I probably hurt her! That’s how I celebrated. The P&G Family Home has been cool for my family to come and relax, and [also] have a little piece of home so coming and being able to celebrate with all those supporters has been cool!
David is working with the P&G 'Thank you, Mom' campaign, partnering with Pampers.