EDITOR’S NOTE: The Sierra Sun is counting down the days to the Sochi Winter Olympics with a series of Q-and-As with local and regional Olympic hopefuls. First up, halfpipe skier David Wise. Look to upcoming sports sections for more.
The Sierra Sun recently caught up with Northstar-sponsored freeskiing star David Wise for a Q-and-A about the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
With an Olympic qualifier win already under his belt, Wise is in a strong position to make the U.S. team in skiing halfpipe, which will make its Olympic debut in February.
Check out what he had to say.
Q: How’s your season treating you so far?
A: “I have had an amazing season so far. I hit the gym and rode my mountain bike pretty hard all summer, so I am feeling strong. Starting off the season with a win at the Dew Tour was a real treat; it takes the pressure off for the Olympic qualification process for sure.”
Q: How’s the family?
A: “My family is great. They spent (some time) out here with me in Colorado. In between training and competing I was able to take my wife and 2-year-old daughter out skiing and sledding a couple times. It is really nice for them to be able to travel with me.”
Q: I imagine your competitive schedule keeps you real busy. How tough is it being away from the family? Or do they get a chance to join you on the road?
A: “Right now we are in a fortunate situation. My wife, Alexandra, can work on the road, and my daughter, Nayeli, is young enough to pack along wherever we go. Most of the competitions this season are on American soil, so they are going to be with me most of the way. It is difficult when I am on the road for long periods of time, but it comes with a trade-off. I don’t have a nine-to-five. I am gone a lot, but when I’m home I’m able to spend a lot of quality time with my family.”
Q: With it being an Olympic year, and with so many talented American athletes vying for the same thing — an Olympic berth — what’s the vibe like in competitions? Is it ramped up a notch compared to a non-Olympic year?
A: “The vibe is definitely ramped up. You can see it in some guys faces that they are giving everything that they have to get that spot. Making the U.S. Olympic Team is almost a bigger hurdle than actually competing in the Olympics, so you can tell that a lot of guys are feeling the pressure.”
Q: Assuming everything goes according to plan, what will it mean to you to represent your country in the Winter Olympics?
A: “I’ve loved the Olympics ever since I can remember. To be able to walk with a team of fellow Americans would be a dream come true. It is also the first time that freeskiing will be in the Olympics, so I won’t just be representing the country that raised me, but the sport that I love as well.”
Q: Are there any Olympic moments that stand out in your memory from your childhood?
A: “I remember watching the track and field events with my dad when I was really young. He was an athlete in college, and it was really fun watching his favorite events with him.”
Q: With Sochi located so far away, are your family and friends going to be able to make it over there to support you?
A: “All of my immediate family is planning on going — Mom, Dad, both my sisters and my wife — and some of my friends too. It is really a difficult trip to make, so I feel very honored that all these people are sacrificing so much to go cheer me on.”