Are you familiar with freestyle skiing? If not, get yourself acquainted with the sport. After spending many years flying under the radar, freestyle skiing has officially been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as a winter sport for the 2014 Winter Olympics. For those of you not in the know, here's some pertinent information: when mentioning anything about freestyle skiing, Simon Dumont cannot be too far from the conversation.
As a child, Simon got involved with sports, and showed a knack for thriving at everything from golf to soccer to basketball. It wasn't until his early teenage years that he picked up skiing and, as they say, the rest is history. With eight X Games medals under his belt, and a Guinness World Record for height on a quarter pipe, Dumont now has his eyes set on two more goals: representing the U.S. in the 2014 Winter Olympics as a freestyle skier, and to ski the most dangerous pipe run ever.
While the Winter Olympics are still three years away, his other goal will be attempted today with the help of Red Bull and SnowPark Technologies. Before embarking on this huge run, we talked with Simon Dumont about the logistics of this pipe run, the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the other aspects of his life, past and present.
What exactly is this run you will be attempting?
Simon Dumont: Obviously, you know what a half-pipe is.
Simon Dumont: So, I will ski half-pipes for about two days, and find out where I take off and where I land. After that, we’re going to cut out the rest of the pipe, so we’re only left with take-offs and landings. I have five different hits in my half-pipe run, so each hit is going to be specific to a certain trick. It’s just going to look really, really weird because there’s going to be channels and gaps the entire way down.
You’re still the Guinness World Record holder for height on
a quarter-pipe, right?
Simon Dumont: Yes, I am.
How did your attempt at that record come about?
Simon Dumont: In the middle of January, there was a quarter-pipe in Aspen the same year  that I broke the record. I went pretty large, and saw the potential after I got close to the record. I ended up separating my shoulder there in Aspen, so that kinda threw a curveball, and stopped any headway I was making at going that height. But I claimed I was going to do it, so I just had to do it.
So you separated your shoulder right before your Guinness
World Record attempt?
Simon Dumont: Yeah. I did it in January on a quarter-pipe.
Was there any concern about trying it again?
Simon Dumont: For sure, there’s a concern. The thing with quarters is that there is a very small margin of error, especially when you’re going that high. So there was a lot of concern. I wasn’t damning it. It was fun. When I got there, it was like, “I guess I have to do it now.” I opened my mouth, so I had to step up.
It must be good to say that you’re a Guinness World Record
Simon Dumont: It’s not really about me saying that I’m a Guinness World Record holder. It was more for myself. I battled a lot of things. I was hurt. I landed flat on the quarter-pipe a couple of times. A lot of things just weren’t going my way.
If the Guinness World Record isn’t your biggest feat, what
would you say is?
Simon Dumont: I don’t know. It’s not just one thing. I try to make sure that I’m a very well-rounded skier, and I’ve succeeded in each part.
To add onto the whole well-rounded aspect, you’re going to
be competing in the upcoming the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Simon Dumont: Yeah. I was in New York the last couple of days just showing people our new U.S. Freeskiing brand, giving them an idea what freeskiing is, and letting them know that we’re going to be in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
How do you feel about being a part of the Olympics?
Simon Dumont: I feel good. I feel like it’s been a long time coming. The Olympics are the biggest stage where you can showcase your talent and our sport, so I’m really excited about it.
What do you think took so long for the IOC to finally
recognize what you do as an Olympic sport?
Simon Dumont: I don’t really know. I know that the Olympics are trying to get a younger demographic, which is something that we appeal to. It’s the same exact venue as the snowboard half-pipe. So I don’t know what took so long, but either way, we’re in now. So we just gotta show them that we belong there.
When they officially made snowboarding part of the Winter Olympics,
did you feel that freeskiing was next?
Simon Dumont: I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t know how long it was going to take.
You recently had your third Dumont Cup. Could you describe
what the Dumont Cup is exactly?
Simon Dumont: I just wanted to have my own contest, and to have it on Sunday River, which is actually where I learned to ski. The Dumont Cup is an open event where I give a lot of people the opportunity to showcase their talent and give them the best venue with the best jumps on the East Coast. For those that can’t potentially win, they can see a bunch of pros, ski the best course, and probably have one of the best weekends of their lives. But for the athletes that have the talent to win, they’ll get their name on the map a little bit, which could help them grow as a professional skier.
As a kid, you were involved in many different sports from
gymnastics to golf. If you weren’t succeeding in skiing, is there another sport
you would be focused on?
Simon Dumont: It’s hard to say. Skiing is what I’m doing. I started my professional ski career when I was thirteen and a half, fourteen. So there wasn’t a lot of time for me to develop my skills in any other sport. It would've been awesome to be a pro athlete in soccer or golf. I think those are the two big ones.
What’s the deal with the modeling as a kid?
Simon Dumont: [Laughs.] My parents got me into modeling stuff when I was younger. I don’t remember what the name of it was.
You weren’t feeling it?
Simon Dumont: No. It wasn’t my thing.
What’s the future look like for you in freestyle skiing?
Simon Dumont: I have my own clothing company, Empire Attire, and that’s something I want to focus on in the next couple of years. It’s hard to tell. But in three years, we have the Olympics. That’s my next milestone.