I have to admit I have a bit of crush at these Olympic Games. Don't worry. I'm happily married. He's happily married. It's more like someone I admire and respect, but I call it a crush because he's a lot younger than me... and he’s a cutie.
It’s 23-year-old David Wise, aka @MrDavidWise on Twitter.
He’s called the "undude." It’s not because he’s uncool. The very opposite in fact.
On the surface, he’s an easy going extreme skier, but when it comes to his personal life, he’s unlike the other young, professional skiing dudes out there. David is the husband of a beautiful wife and the doting father of a 2-year-old girl.
Those are his priorities. Skiing comes second.
David told me that’s what probably makes him a better skier. It takes the pressure off. If he has a bad day on the halfpipe, no worries, something bigger, better, and more important is at home waiting for him: his family. He says that takes the pressure off, and I think he’s right.
I have followed him in the weeks prior to Sochi, during the Olympic trials. This dude gets serious air and his flips and twists are truly jaw-dropping. No one even comes close, in my opinion.
When I interviewed him in January, he was so down to earth, gracious, intelligent, and just a kind soul. To see him interact with his wife and daughter, makes him even more attractive, inside and out.
Since then, I have interviewed him several more times -- when he clinched his spot on the USA Olympic Team in Breckenridge and when he first arrived in Sochi.
Then, last night, the moment he had been waiting and training for. The halfpipe freeskiing event made its Olympic debut. The weather was terrible and the condition of the halfpipe was icky. Wet, slushy, pot holes and speed bumps in the center of the pipe. Those conditions forced the freeskier to make some adjustments. The new tricks he wanted to show-off, he was now not chancing it.
But he was still the best and it was obvious. Mr. David Wise came out on top. I never had a doubt in my mind.
He is now a gold medalist. His life in the last 24 hours has been crazy... and will become even crazier now that he’s an Olympic freeskiing superstar.
I was lucky enough to interview him just after his big win on the halfpipe. He had done so many interviews already, but when it was my turn, he recognized my face -- a familiar face. A Bay Area reporter who has been following him, rooting for him, and cheering on Bay Area and Lake Tahoe area athletes.
We gave each other a big hug. I am so proud of this young man, husband, father, skier.
Now that he’s a gold medalist, everyone wants him, but nothing has changed. He is still the gracious and kind soul.
His family still comes first. Skiing comes second. And that combination seems to be a winning one. He is now wearing a gold medal around his neck.
Mr. David Wise is so deserving. He was already a gold medalist in my mind before he won it. Now, the whole world knows it.