The afterglow of the Olympics has a shelf life, and that’s fine with David Wise.
The gold medalist in the inaugural ski halfpipe event in the Sochi Games, Wise is nearing the end of a post-Olympics tour he described as "pure chaos." Visiting the Salt Lake City office/ski manufacturing site of 4FRNT, the company’s part-owner reflected Thursday about the last month. He appeared on the "Ellen" show, took his wife and child to Disneyland and was treated to "David Wise Day," declared throughout and particularly observed in his hometown of Reno.
"All these crazy things that I never expected to happen in my entire life have happened all in a space of, like, three weeks," he said.
The potential exists for a letdown when the attention ends, but Wise welcomes the return to normality. "People only care about the Olympics for a certain period of time. And that goes away," he said. "Eventually, people move on with their lives. So if that was defining who I was, and I really cared about the celebrity aspect, then I would be super-disappointed probably a month from now, when nobody wants to shake my hand anymore and everybody’s already seen the medal and they’re bored of it."
Wise continued, "But for me, I’m relieved a little bit when all the stuff winds down. ... I feel an obligation to share my experience and get people excited about skiing, that’s my job as a gold medalist. ... It’s still a relief for me to go home and just be me again."
Wise was among five U.S. gold medalists in events that were new to the Olympic program in 2014. The others included Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson in snowboard slopestyle, Joss Christensen in ski slopestyle and Maddie Bowman in ski halfpipe.
"I feel like all the good guys won," Wise said. "If you look at that group, there’s not one personality type that won. Sage and I, if you compared us side-by-side, are about as different as two people could be. But we’re friends, we’re homies. ... That’s kind of what the American action sports athletes have shown: There’s no one way to the top. You don’t have to have a certain type of personality in order to be successful at this. It’s an art, and you can go out and do it how ever you want."
- Kurt Kragthorpe