The XXII Olympic Winter Games

In His Own Words: David Wise

David Wise took gold in Sochi, becoming the inaugural Olympic men's halfpipe champion

David Wise took the first Olympic gold for Men's Halfpipe today. Here the 23 year old competes in his second qualification run during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.  PHOTO: Andrew P. Scott/USA TODAY Sports

David Wise took the first Olympic gold for Men’s Halfpipe today. Here the 23 year old competes in his second qualification run during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. PHOTO: Andrew P. Scott/USA TODAY Sports

Age: 23
Hometown: Reno, Nevada
Olympic discipline: Halfpipe
Career achievements: 1st place, 2013 Dew Tour Halfpipe; Gold medalist, 2013 and 2012 Aspen X Games Superpipe; 1st place, 2013 F.I.S. World Championship Halfpipe; 1st place, 2013 U.S. Grand Prix Park City Halfpipe; Gold medalist, 2012 Euro X Games Superpipe; 1st place, 2012 U.S. Grand Prix Mammoth Halfpipe; 1st place, 2012 Dew Tour Snowbasin Halfpipe

David Wise is not yet even half way through his 20s, but, in many ways, he is more mature than his peers. At 23, he is married with a daughter. On the snow, Wise is a humble athlete who has found the confidence to compete—and succeed—on the halfpipe circuit. Coming off a year where he stood at the top of more than one podium, Wise is in a good position to soar through the qualifications, secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, and make history at Sochi.

I write on my helmet a little mantra: “Embrace life. Seek truth. And be free.”

David Wise. PHOTO: Tyler Roemer

David Wise. PHOTO: Tyler Roemer

It’s sort of like every kid wants to be a rock star or an actor or whatever. I always wanted to be an athlete. Somewhere along the way I fell in love with skiing…this “new school” version of the sport.

When it came to competing, halfpipe caught my attention because it’s so in your face: 30 seconds, five or six tricks, and you’re going as fast as you can, as big as you can.

I’ve had a routine for a long time now that’s gotten me to where I am. Everyday I go out and ski. I eat the same things most mornings.

I’m not going to come out guns blazing, doing my hardest just because it’s the Olympic year. I’m trying to just maintain.

It’s unreal to finally have it [skiing halfpipe] in the Olympics. It seems to me that it should have happened a lot sooner. It’s something unparalleled, something our sport has never seen before. I want to be there, be a part of it.

I’d like to be wise and mature enough to say that if I didn’t make the team I’d be okay with it. At the same time, this isn’t my only shot at the Olympics.

Because skiing is as much an art as it is a sport, I want to put my mark on what skiing is. This is what I think halfpipe skiing should look like, and this is how I like to do it. Beyond that the judges can do or say what they want with it.

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