Local Olympian Visits Reno School Before Heading to Sochi - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Local Olympian Visits Reno School Before Heading to Sochi

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A local elementary school got a special visit Thursday from a three-time X Games gold medalist. 23-year-old David Wise was born and raised in Reno and is now getting ready to go to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Before he leaves, he had a special message to give to some local students.

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It was a big day at Smithridge Elementary School on Thursday. Kids were packed in the gym to send off the David Wise with a few gifts. The crowd went wild as Wise made his way to the front of the room. He gave a quick speech telling students to work hard and never give up on their dreams, then opened the room up for questions.

David told students he started skiing at a very young age. His father, Tom Wise told Channel 2 News that David tried on his first pair of skis when he was three, and learned from his dad.

David wanted to come to the school before he left for Sochi because he wanted to encourage kids to follow their dreams. "For me the story has always been I was never the most talented or the best growing up but I always wanted to be better and that's what I was hoping to inspire in them too," said Wise.

The students gave David a poster and cards wishing him luck at the Winter Games. His visit not only inspired the young students, but taught them something more. Jario Ortiz, a fifth grader at Smithridge told Channel 2 that David inspires him to conquer his fears and keep practicing. "My dream is to be a photographer and he inspires us to be something that we want to be and something that we should be," said Brianda Ruelas.

It takes a lot of training to get to where Davis is, about 6 hours a day for 5 to 6 days a week. "The spins and flips are similar to a gymnast. The only thing is you got these 15 pound skis strapped to your feet and you are spinning and twirling," said Tom Wise.

Governor Brian Sandoval was also at the event. He said David makes Nevada proud, and wishes him the best in Sochi. "He got a little better every day and now he's off to the Olympics. He could be the first person from Reno ever to win a gold medal," said Sandoval.

David told the crowd his family taught him to ski, and his friend and the community where there to support him from the beginning. "When I go out on the Olympic stage I get to represent everyone who believed in me along the way. That includes teachers, family, friends and of course the place where I grew up. You know I'm born and raised in Reno and I'm just so excited to go out and represent," said Wise.

David is one of four U.S. athletes nominated to compete in the Freeski Men's Halfpipe. This is the first time David's event has been held in the Olympics and it's the first time he's ever been to the Winter Games.

Before David left, several of the students asked him if he would come back and show them the gold medal if he won... "If I win will I come back? I'll definitely come back and show you guys for sure."

Written by Chloe Beardsley

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