Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wise dude.

Freeskier David Wise riding his mountain in the hills above downtown Reno.

A few weeks ago—on assignment for The New York Times—I spent the afternoon with freeskier David Wise. Wise, a Reno native, is a two-time X-Games gold medalist and holds the Association of Freeskiing Professionals top spot in its halfpipe rankings.

Freestyle skiing in the halfpipe will make its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, in February, and Wise is a gold-medal favorite

My photos, featured on the front of today's sports section, appear with a story by Times sports reporter John Branch.

Titled, "In the Halfpipe With David Wise, the Undude" the profile shares Wise's unique story.

"Many snowboard and freestyle contestants seem molded from the same assembly line," writes Branch. "Models of branded dishevelment marketed as easygoing and athletic slackers, usually longhaired and clothed in flannel, like guitarists from a jam band enjoying a day in the snow."

"In the niche of the action-sports world that he now dominates, Wise is counterculture to the counterculture," writes Branch. "He is the undude."

Married at 20, Wise and his wife Alexandra have a 2-year-old daughter, Nayelli.

In addition to being a family man, Wise is a youth pastor at his church and once a week tries to have friends and family over for dinner. He also hunts chukar, plays softball with his buddies and likes to read C.S. Lewis.

"Wise is different," writes Branch. "Surprisingly grounded for someone who makes a living flying through the air."

I agree with Branch and enjoyed meeting Wise and his family. Here are a few of the photos that didn't make the print edition. I hope they show that side of him.

Wise's 2-year-old daughter Nayelli. 

Lexi and Nayelli.

During his travels, Wise collects heart-shaped rocks for Alexandra.

Wise's 2013 X Games gold medal.

Working out with trainer Max McManus.

At the physical therapist.


David and Alexandra at dinner with their mothers, Jonna Read, right, and Kathy Wise. 

Wise's medals hang against the wall in the dinning room

Bedtime story.