In the Zone with Olympian David Wise
When he's not catching air on the halfpipe, freestyle skier and Olympian David Wise is a human jungle gym for his 2-year-old daughter, Nayeli. The 23-year-old shares what it's like to go for parenting gold.
US freestyle skier David Wise is accustomed to seeing the world from a different angle—he spends most of his time 10 feet in the air doing twists, turns, and flips. But, as any parent knows, nothing turns your world upside-down like having a child. The 23-year-old is a favorite for the first-ever Olympic ski halfpipe event and is also husband to wife Alexandra and father to daughter Nayeli, born in 2011. He talked to us about life in the baby zone.
You’ve partnered with the Thank You, Mom campaign. How has your mom helped in your journey to the Olympics and how has she helped you as a parent?
My mom’s support was always been moral support. Especially when I was feeling down, or when I thought I wasn’t doing as well as a should be or when was injured or sick, that’s when my mom really shined. My dad (who was a collegiate ski racer) was always athletic support. My mom was the rock for my family.
Now that I’m a parent, she’s been a huge help. You never realize how nice it is to just get out of the house and go on a date before you have a newborn you have to watch 24/7. So my mom has been really great and she loves Nayeli and Nayeli loves her. She shines as a grandma now.
What has been the best career moment you’ve shared with your daughter?
Interestingly enough, my most successful season came after Nayeli was born. I won the X-Games, the Dew Tour Finals, and the Grand Prix—so she’s been there for the biggest accomplishments of my career so far. She won’t be going to Sochi, but the rest of my immediate family will be there. Nayeli will be home with grandma.
What’s harder: being a first-time Olympian or a first-time dad?
For me, I realized when I was becoming a dad for the first time how natural it is. It’s scary and intimidating when you’re coming into it, but then you see how easy it is. The tasks are simple. You just have to take care of this little bundle of joy and love her. It’s hard to determine a level of difficulty between them. I guess, I have the same approach with my skiing. So it’s hard to compare.
If there were a parenting Olympics, in which field would you get the gold?
I’d definitely excel in the Human Jungle Gym category. Nayeli climbs all over me, punches me, wants to be flipped—all kinds of stuff.
Finish this sentence: You know you’re in the Baby Zone when…
… there are more boxes of diapers and baby things in the car for your ski trip to Colorado than there is ski stuff.
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