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Dinner honoring David Wise to benefit local nonprofit

Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 9:59 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There’s a celebration dinner on Saturday honoring Reno’s David Wise, who won his third Olympic medal. The two-time defending champion earned the silver in the Ski Halfpipe in Beijing.

“Pulling it off, being there, still being relevant as one of the oldest guys in the finals. All of that to me is more than enough. I’m very, very satisfied and thankful for what I have,” said Wise.

It wasn’t easy. The conditions were dangerous that day, with wind gusts affecting all of the skiers, causing several crashes. In fact, Wise was one of just five men to score above an 80, finishing with a 90.75.

“One of my goals that day was to walk away fuzzy side up,” joked Wise. “Like, don’t get hurt just because it’s the Olympics and you want to do well.”

He returned to a big crowd that gathered at the airport in Reno, who showed up to welcome him home.

“I was curious if the reception was going to be any less because I won silver instead of gold, but if anything it was greater,” admitted Wise. “And they know, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here in Reno. I’m still representing the hometown. And so, the support was amazing. That’s one of my favorite parts about the Olympics is coming home and sharing it with the community.”

He’s also using his success to give back to his community. His wife, Alexandra, organized a viewing party during his Finals run to raise money for Sky Tavern, the place David learned to ski. They were able to raise $45,000 for the local nonprofit.

“Seeing the turnout, seeing the support. Being able to watch the videos after the fact, and tune in and see how big it became was amazing,” added Wise. “It was so satisfying.”

And now they’re celebrating his third medal with a fundraiser at the Atlantis Casino. The first Podium Challenge event will be used to raise money for the Empowerment Center.

“They’re doing amazing things for recovery and for substance addiction, things that are a problem in our community,” explained Wise. “And now they’re doing this huge new project that is affordable living. So it’s an awesome opportunity for us to partner with a cool nonprofit, close to home, doing something that we think is amazing.”

It continues a decade of good work. Whenever Wise has placed on a podium (first through third place), he has donated ten percent of his winnings to a nonprofit, and asked his social media followers to match.

“When I’m at the peak, when I’m standing on the podium, I’m going to turn around and give something back,” continued Wise. “Because I think generosity is an infectious disease. Something that when you get it in your soul, and you start looking for ways to help people around you, you actually benefit more than they do.”

For now, he’s going to benefit with some down-time with his family, before competing once again next ski season. As for 2026, he’s not yet sure if he’ll try for a fourth Winter Olympics medal. But he does have his eye on the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, where he could try to make it in archery.

The Podium Challenge event is going on Saturday at the Atlantis. Every ticket includes dinner and a piece of autographed memorabilia. VIP passes are also available, giving fans more personal access to Wise, and an open bar. You can learn more about the event, and buy tickets, by clicking on the link below.

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