RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- He's been called one of the greatest freestyle skiers of our time, and he's made Reno-Tahoe his home for the last twenty years, but what's next for Wayne Wong?
His daring and innovative style on skis made him a founding father during the freestyle ski movement. Freestyle skiing and the name Wayne Wong became synonymous.
"At that time for me, it was more about showing people the passion I have for skiing, and what could actually be done on skis," Wong says.
Since the 1970s, Wong's pioneering efforts won him world championships and opened the eyes of skiers all over the world.
"People would go, 'Boy, you guys are crazy. The stuff you guys do on skis is crazy.' And now I see what the athletes are doing in the competitive arena and I go, 'Boy you guys are crazy!'"
Wong's list of accomplishments can nearly go unmatched. He's a three-time world Powder Eight Champion. In 2009, Wong was inducted into the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame. Just four years later, he was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Board Hall of Fame.
He's originally from Vancouver, Canada, but for a little more than 20 years, Wong has called Reno-Tahoe home.
"The first time I came here, I fell in love with this area," Wong says.
Wong had another particularly proud moment: he was selected to carry the 2002 Olympic Torch through downtown Reno But, it wasn't until Wong hung up his skis that he discovered what he calls his life's calling. Wong has devoted his life off the hill to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and more. He has raised more than $26 million for charities.
So, what's next? He has extended his career in the ski industry to the very base: the foundation of skiing.
"This is, I believe, the next technological breakthrough in skiing," Wong says. He teamed up with Anton Dynamics on a whole new suspension system that goes on the Legend Wayne Wong skis.
"[It] makes the ski more stable. Doesn't chatter. Doesn't vibrate. Ski engineers have been trying to figure this out forever. When I skied on it I went 'Wow, this is the next big deal'," Wong says.
So far, eight prototypes have been unveiled, and the company is getting off the ground.
"I'm very excited to say we are establishing legend skis right here in Nevada," Wong says.
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