Freestyle skiing champion and family man David Wise is gearing up for the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The first competitions of the Sochi Winter Games on NBC starts February 6th, and runs through February 23rd.
The halfpiper, 23, opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about preparing for the Olympics and some of the greatest lessons he’s learned from training. He goes on to talk about wife Alexandra, their 2-year-old daughter Nayeli, and some of his favorite bonding moments with his baby girl.
CBS: How are you preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi? What is your training schedule like?
DW: “My training right now is a balance of preparing for the Olympic qualifiers on skis, maintaining my strength in the gym, and spending a lot of time visualizing and thinking up new runs and combinations.”
CBS: What is your favorite part about freeskiing in the halfpipe?
DW: “I’ve loved skiing for as long as I can remember, it is fast and free, but what I like about halfpipe in particular is the weightless feeling you experience. Only in a halfpipe can you go straight up in the air, stall, and then come down and land on the same surface that you took off on. That moment, at the apex, is true weightlessness, and for a moment it feels like time stops.”
CBS: Could you tell us about your daughter Nayeli? How old is she and what does she like doing for fun?
DW: “My daughter Nayeli just turned two in October. Jumping on the trampoline is her all time favorite thing to do, but watching movies and family dance parties are close behind.”
CBS: What are some of the highlights of being a dad? Could you share any special memories?
DW: “Being a dad is an amazing experience. It is an equal share of intimidating responsibility, and overwhelming reward. I honestly didn’t know how much love I was capable of till I held my daughter for the first time.
Like any parent I am really proud of all of my daughter’s “firsts.” Her first word (which was ‘dadda’ of course), her first steps, her first phrase (‘oh my goodness’), her first time jumping on the trampoline, and recently her first time on skis, they are all experiences that I will never forget.”
CBS: Does Nayeli like skiing like her daddy? How do you bond with your daughter?
DW: “My wife Alexandra and I have taken Nayeli skiing a couple of times now, and she loves it. They are there at the bottom of a lot of my competitions, and every time Nayeli tells me that wants to go skiing. I love doing activities with my little girl, but reading her books before bedtime is still my favorite way to bond with her.”
CBS: Will Nayeli be cheering you on in Sochi this winter? If so, what does it mean for you to have her there?
DW: “Nayeli will be cheering me on, but it will be from the living room with her grandma. We decided that getting a two-year-old all the way over to Russia for three days just to take her home would be a huge hassle. My wife, my parents, my sisters, and some of my close friends are going to be there, and I know that Nayeli will be screaming, “Go DavvvviiiWwiiizzze” (what she says every time she sees a skier, whether it’s me or not) at the TV.”
CBS: What are some of the values and lessons you’ve learned from your Olympic training that you hope to teach your daughter?
DW: “My skiing career has taught me that anything is possible with perseverance. I was never the most talented at anything growing up, but I had an obsession with improving. I strive to get better every day, even if it is just a little. That mentality has brought me a long way, and I hope it is something that Nayeli learns in her life as well.”
CBS: You and your wife also lead a church youth group. How do you balance everything?
DW: “Helping out with the youth group is definitely something that my wife and I are passionate about, but we spend a lot of time on the road. Fortunately, we have some great fellow leaders that run the youth group while we are away.”
CBS: Are you planning to train and compete in the following winter Olympics as well?
DW: “I have always told myself that I will keep doing this for as long as I truly love it. Right now I am enjoying every minute of this ride, and I don’t foresee myself getting burned out in four years; so hopefully yes.”