RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- A local skier is heading to the Olympics in Sochi, but not before a proper send-off.
As a Reno native David Wise started his skiiing career right here at Sky Tavern at just three years old. So he took some time to inspire other local kids before he heads off to make history on the half-pipe.
"I always just strived to do a little bit better," Wise said to students at Smithridge Elementary School.
The students held a special assembly for Wise before he leaves for the 2014 Olympic Games.
"When I was growing up I was that kid sitting on the floor looking up to somebody," he said.
But now Wise is the one doing the talking, as an X Games champion getting ready to compete in the ski half-pipe in the Olympics.
"Skiing is a part of who I am," he said. "It's been an amazing run. I feel so honored to represent my sport and my state and my country in the Olympics, and I'm just going to enjoy the experience."
It's the first time Wise's event has been featured and it's the challenge of a lifetime, but during training he makes a point to remember why he does it.
"I do like daffys and twisters and spread eagles and all of the tricks from old school free styling just to remind myself that it's all about fun," Wise said.
In that spirit, he stopped by Smithridge to share the sport he loves with the students.
"If it's on TV and it's something you see on a computer screen then it's not real, but when you see it in person and somebody tells you directly and gives you a high five and says you can do whatever you want, it makes it a lot more real," Wise said. "For me to have a chance to give back, and inspire them, and show them that you can do anything you really set your mind to is important, and I hope that I inspired some kids today."
The kids sent him off with a good luck charm, but no matter what happens in Sochi he's already a winner in their eyes.
The Sochi Olympics run from February 6-23. You can see David Wise and the rest of Team USA in action right here on News 4. Wise's event is scheduled for February 18.
You can also follow his journey on social media through his MrDavidWise accounts on Facebook
, Instagram and Twitter