Victor Ivan "Vic" Wild (Russian: Виктор Айван Уайлд; born August 23, 1986) is an American-born Russian snowboarder.
Wild with Vladimir Putin, February 24, 2014
|Full name||Victor Ivan Wild|
|Born||August 23, 1986|
White Salmon, Washington, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
Wild won a bronze medal in the parallel giant slalom at the 2013 FIS Snowboarding World Championships and gold medals in the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which made him the first snowboarder ever to win two medals at the same Winter Games.
Wild originally competed for the United States, but after the 2010 Winter Olympics, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association shut down its alpine snowboarding program. According to a 2014 story by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Wild had been viewed by US snowboarding officials "as an enfant terrible, someone who didn't understand alpine's place in the [USA] snowboarding power structure. Halfpipe is king, with slopestyle creeping up in importance, and snowboardcross racing third." One of Wild's former coaches indicated that before its closure, the alpine snowboarding program had a budget of $135,000, a fraction of the funding needed for an internationally competitive team. This is mainly caused by the fact that the United States remains the only country in the world not to fund its Olympic Committee, that is why available funding is limited.
After winning gold for Russia at the Sochi Olympics, Wild commented, "Russia is a country that made it possible for me to win. Had I stayed in the US, I'd probably be still sitting at home, doing some ordinary job, doing something banal, and not interesting. I always wanted something different … It is just amazing that I won this gold for Russia. Some may think, 'This guy still stays American.' … And that is not true! I am not some American guy who decided it would be easier to get to Olympics in a country where snowboarding is undeveloped. I have chosen the harder path to success, and I have walked it all the way."
Wild received more than $400.000 in bonuses from the Russian government for winning two gold medals. He was also presented with a brand new SUV. Unlike the United States, where the Olympic Committee is a non-governmental structure, the Russian government not only funds the Olympic Committee and athletes, but also rewards them with cash for winning medals.
- "Isabella Laboeck and Benjamin Karl clinch Parallel Giant Slalom World Championships title". FIS. 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- Passan, Jeff (February 22, 2014). "How an American snowboarder helped Russia win the Sochi Games' medal table". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Top American snowboarder willing to race for Russia". RT.com. September 7, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- Profile Archived February 24, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, sovsport.md; accessed February 14, 2014.
- "Russia's Olympic athletes receive state awards". Itar-Tass. February 24, 2014.