American freestyle skier David Wise proved his talent at the 2014 Sochi Olympics when, at the age of 23, he won the gold medal in the halfpipe.

He was favored to win gold again in Pyeongchang after winning the X Games in 2018, but the road to the 2018 Olympics was not an easy one for Wise.

David Wise/Instagram

He wrote on his blog, Mr. David Wise, that he was coming into the Olympic Games after enduring the worst two seasons of his competitive career:

A lot of things played into my lack of success in the past couple years: I had an injured shoulder and back, three separate concussions, my wife lost her father, my sister Christy was in a boating accident and lost her leg, I had a dear student of mine commit suicide. Not to mention my wife and I had our second child, Malachi, shortly after the Olympics in Sochi. Alexandra was actually pregnant and experiencing brutal morning sickness while she was watching me compete in Sochi, but we weren’t telling anybody yet so she really had to get through that process alone while I was doing the insane media tour. After Alexandra gave birth to Malachi, she went through a hard year of postpartum depression – something more common than most people realize. […]

During one trip when I traveled without the family, Malachi had a fever spike and went into what we now know was a febrile seizure. At the time I was in Oslo, Norway and got a phone call from my wife who thought our son was dying, or dead. Let’s just say this was a lot to take on at once and my skiing performance suffered.

Thankfully, Wise’s son is doing better, and the entire family was able to make the trip to Pyeongchang, South Korea, to watch him defend his Olympic gold medal from Sochi.

He has God to thank for that, he wrote:

Everything that I have is a gift from God, and He can take it away when He wants to. I am surrounded by people who truly love and support me for who I am, not what I do on a pair of skis and not for any level of success I could attain.

Wise said he has his children to thank for helping him find his purpose and for making skiing fun again. He also thanks his wife, Alexandra, for having the strength of “a true Proverbs 31 woman” — he “couldn’t be prouder of who she is now, and where it has brought our marriage and family.”

Wise was able to capture gold once again on his third and final run of the 2018 Olympics, making him one of two Americans to successfully defend their gold medals from Sochi.

And the only people he wanted there to celebrate with him were his wife and kids.

Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Congratulations, David Wise.

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American Skier Defends the Gold Medal — And He Just Wants to Celebrate With His Wife and Kids

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