Every time American freeskier David Wise travels for a halfpipe competition, he searches for a rock — typically in the shape of a heart — to bring back home for his wife Lexie.
On the biggest night of his professional life, she returned the favor.
Lexie smuggled in a rock from near their home in Reno, Nev., to Tuesday night's men's Olympic halfpipe skiing final, handing it to a friend who gave it to her husband. Wise posted a picture of the gray, vaguely heart-shaped gem on Instagram just before the competition then stuffed it in his pocket before soaring to gold.
See the post here: http://instagram.com/p/kj43IsF5t6/
The rock was still there in the giddy aftermath, ready to take up a very prominent place in the family's growing collection. Considering the success Wise had with the trinket in place, he knows he'll have to step his game up the next time he's on the road.
"There's a lot of pressure," he said. "You want to pick out the best rock you possibly can."
His wife certainly found a winner.
— By Will Graves — http://twitter.com/WillGravesAP
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu