Forget winning the Olympic gold for Team USA in freestyle skiing.
What sets David Wise apart from his competitors – what makes for an “alternative lifestyle” – is being a husband and father at the age of 23 and wanting to be a pastor one day, according to NBC’s Olympic coverage.
The story, posted last week on the network’s Olympic coverage website, is entitled, “David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold” and lauds the Reno, Nevada resident for living a quiet home life that, author Skyler Wilder believes, distinguishes him from other Olympic athletes.
“At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult,” Wilder wrote. “He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”
The article suggests that such a lifestyle is out of the ordinary for a man competing in the Games.
“While the rest of his competitors are hanging with their friends, traveling the world searching for endless winter, hitting the party scenes accustom to their action sports lifestyles, Wise is hurrying home for quality time with the family,” Wilder wrote. “That is what sets his mental game apart from his competition. He likely has the most stable life of them all.”
Slate writer David Weigel came to Wilder’s defense, citing data by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy that found that the media age of the American first marriage is about 26 years old, and about 25 years for becoming a parent for the first time.
“So, yes, David Wise is very good at skiing, and he figured out, as the internet might refer to it, that whole adulthood thing much faster than the median American or median famous Olympian,” Weigel wrote. “Good for him! Let's not have a culture war about it.”
For his part, Wilder tweeted a photo earlier Sunday to sum up his relationship with the Olympian in light of the controversial article.