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article imageMeet David Wise: 2018 Olympic gold medalist in the men's halfpipe Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 30, 2018 in Sports
Pyeongchang - Acclaimed skier David Wise chatted with Digital Journal about his 2018 Olympic gold medal win at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in the men's halfpipe.
This marked Wise's second consecutive Olympic gold medal, and it was in the same event (men's halfpipe) as Sochi. "That was unbelievable. It was like a detachment from reality. It was crazy," he exclaimed. "As an athlete, I try to focus on the moment, and I try not to think too much what might happen after the fact. This was the same experience I had in Sochi, so at the end of the day, I was kind of surprised. I thought about the steps to get there, as opposed to the possibility of a win coming true."
For Wise, hearing the national anthem played in his honor was yet another emotional moment. "The cool thing about it is that at the Olympics, I am representing the country at the biggest stage," he said.
On his plans for the future, Wise said, "I am in Europe for another couple of weeks doing a little filming and projects in France, and then I head over to Austria, which is where I broke the world record a few years ago, and I head home after that. I will be back home skiing a little bit, and I will be cruising around, and letting people to touch the gold medal."
For young skiers, his advice is as follows: "Don't let people tell you that you are not good enough to do something. Don't let them tell you that you are not strong enough, pretty enough or smart enough. I was never the most talented kid growing up, but I had parents that supported what I wanted to do. Everything that I have achieved has been achieved through hard work. Focus on what you want, and where you are going, and do things one step at a time."
On balancing a family life with an athletic career, Wise said, "For me, it's almost like my family is a balance for me, and something that I have to balance. My family is the balance of all that. I feel they are the most important thing that I do, and everything else is a bonus. At the same time, they are able to support my hopes and dreams, and it is great for my young kids to experience the height of my career as it is happening. They got to see me win the gold medal in South Korea."
He is also a published children's book author of Very Bear and the Butterfly. "I am super excited that it is finally here," Wise said. "The book comes from a story I told my daughter when she was very small. She always like this story about a butterfly and a bear, which ironically was a fable of me meeting my wife. I was the bear and she was the butterfly."
On the key to longevity in skiing, he said, "I am really fortunate to have been healthy over the years, and I haven't had a ton of injuries. Also, keeping a fresh perspective too. Continuing to find things that are exciting and interest you. I have always kept my life interesting, and that has kept me motivated."
He had nothing but the sweetest words about his wife, Alexandra, who helps him hold the fort at home. "Alexandra is the true hero. That's the one thing that people don't really realize. There is no way I could do this without having such a good partner standing by my side. I really take parenting very seriously, and if I wasn't as confident as I am with her motherhood, it would be a lot harder for me to be gone for as long as I am gone. She makes it a lot easier for me, and she manages my schedule and my business meetings. She is constantly helping me out and I couldn't be more thankful for her," he said.
Wise defined success as "Doing what you were made to do with passion." "Success is finding your purpose and doing it with a smile," he added.
For his fans, he said, "Thank you. It truly surprises me that people are willing to support what I think is cool. I didn't set out to do it for people's approval, I set out to do it because I loved it."
Digital transformation of skiing
On the impact of technology on skiing, Wise said, "Technology is getting more fun for me. I personally have a GPS watch on all the time, and I am curious to see when I finish a run, how fast I was going, and how that translates in amplitude in halfpipe. A lot of companies are coming out with sensors that can tell you how much you rotated in the air. It is one thing to describe to somebody how something feels, but it's different to tell them how something feels from a scientific standpoint with metrics. The scientific side of it actually helps the viewers relate to it a little better. Everybody understands what a tremendous amount of force is."
David Wise
David Wise
Courtesy of David Wise
For the entire 2017 and 2018 season, he donated 10 percent of his contest winnings and payouts to One Leg Up On Life. "It is an organization that my twin sisters started, and their whole dream is to provide better prosthetics to kids in third world nation countries," he said. "They started this organization and their whole goal is to go out there and help enrich the lives of kids in these countries."
To learn more about 2018 Olympic gold medalist skier David Wise, check out his official website, and his Facebook page.
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