A night after David Wise won the first halfpipe freestyle skiing gold medal he was headed for the medal ceremony at Olympic Park. The national anthem plays, the gold is placed around his neck – it’s the crowning moment for a champion at the Winter Games.
Unfortunately, his family is headed home. Not realizing the ceremony was the following night, David’s parents, wife, twin sisters and two family friends had booked flights that left Sochi at 10 p.m. Wednesday night. The medals ceremony begins at 8:15 and involves multiple medal winners. It could go till 9 p.m.
“We tried everything to stay,” Tom Wise, David’s father said, adding the added cost of changing flights was somewhere around $4,500. They were thinking of trying to make it if David’s ceremony was on the earlier side of 8:15, but “it was just too tight to make it comfortable.”
Having a blood connection to the family, I thought of lobbying Procter & Gamble or Visa or the USOC to try to come up with some way they could see David’s moment. But those sponsors have done a lot and I would not want to infringe on a great relationship – unless someone wants to be a hero. : )
On the other hand, the fact that there was not more advance planning in knowing the time of a possible medal ceremony, given that David was a favorite in the event having won the last three X Games gold medals, proves one thing: We are related.