A basketball or football player's 30 is a freeskier's 25. In a sport with such a young history and a youthful presence, 25-year-old Simon Dumont is a veteran who has helped lay the bricks and stomp them down for the past 9 years. He began competing professionally in 2003 and won his first Winter X Games Gold in 2004. Since then, he's been carving up every major ski event around the world, breaking world records, running his own Pro/Am, and plotting a jump into the world of rally racing. With kids as young as 15 years old on the come up, Dumont's only fear is becoming irrelevant. Looking at the permanent imprint he's left in the snow, that's highly unlikely. The Maine native talked to Complex about becoming a freeskiing icon, his numerous celebrity crushes, and what draws him to the race track.
What was your favorite album of 2011?
That Kanye and Jay-Z album was pretty sick. I liked it. A lot of hip-hop is getting a little too crazy for me. Jay-Z has been around forever and I like the creative beats. [On "Otis"] they used old soul-style music and put a sick beat over it, so that was cool.
What are your favorite sneakers to wear?
I ride for Nike, so they hook it up with everything. I like to have a nice little Jordan collection to be honest.
Any specific ones?
Just throwbacks. I don’t know the specific names. I usually have them send me every Jordan. I’m working on getting the Jordan IIIs right now. My team manager works with me, so he's trying to get those.
If you were on your death bed, what would be your ultimate last meal?
It would probably be a Kobe beef steak and some sushi from Nobu Matsuhisa. He has a couple restaurants in Aspen, New York, L.A. My last drink ever would have to be 150th anniversary Grand Marnier. I’ve had it with my dad. That’s our drink. It’s a little sweet, but it's not too bad.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Minka Kelly is up there. She’s pretty hot. There are too goddamn many. She’s just hot as hell. If she’s reading this, I know I don’t have Derek Jeter money, but if you want to learn how to ski...
Current video game obsession?
I got the new Modern Warfare, but I don’t really have time. I like NHL games, too. Some of the sports games and first-person shooters. I like hanging out with chicks, though. [Laughs.]
A Bugatti would be pretty nice. I like to go fast, so a Bugatti would be pretty up there. Or a Rolls-Royce Phantom. Maybe go back to the autobahn.
You’ve been out to Germany? What was it like?
We didn’t do anything extreme. It can get crazy, but it was nice not to have to worry about the speed and do whatever the heck you wanted.
I want to be thought of as the Michael Jordan of my sport.
What are you afraid of?
Not being on top any more or injuries. They kind of go hand-in-hand. I mean, it’s going to happen. People start so young in our sport. It’s kind of weird being the older one in the sport.
What do you mean weird?
It feels good. I just want to leave skiing in an iconic fashion. I want to be thought of as the Michael Jordan of my sport. I think I have done a pretty good job. People are starting earlier and earlier, and I see 15-year-old kids out here and I’m like, "Damn, I hate that kid!"
Do you feel like you've set your legacy already?
I feel like the quarterpipe air where I went [a world record] 35 feet. That was the scariest thing. And then, I dropped in for this cubed halfpipe shoot. I think those two things will have a lot more longevity, so they’re the most significant.
What drew you to skiing over snowboarding?
It just happened. My brother was doing it, I didn’t even know you could be a pro [skier]. I went to my brother’s snowboard competition, and I met a team manager at Oakley there. I was dragged into it. As soon as I realized I could make a living off it, that’s when I got more serious about it. I came through the park and got sponsored. I was just in the right place at the right time.
You’ve said that you have trouble doing right doubles. What’s up with that trick that’s so hard?
I’ve naturally spun left my entire life. When I was a kid, I always learned how to fall to the left, and everything to the left. So, I have to train my entire mind to not go to left. This year is more of a fun year, though. Next year I’ll really buckle down and get ready for the Olympics.
How does that change your mindset?
I’m trying not to be so hard on myself. Usually, if I win, I’ll remember it for a night. If I lose, I usually remember it for an entire offseason. I’m trying to relax. Next year I’ll buckle down and be miserable.
With all the medals and accomplishments you’ve achieved, a lot of people call you the best in the world. What is the one thing you still want to be able to do or are working towards?
That date with Minka Kelly that we were talking about. [Laughs.] As I said, I just want to leave as big of an impact as I can. I really will focus on filming after the Olympics. People can watch that forever. I’ve been trying to put something together for a two-year film project, but with all the contests and everybody else so focused on the Olympics, it’s not the project I was really looking forward to.
I really want to drive cars, too. Driving rally is super fun. I feel like it’s something I can really transcend into race car driving; quick reactions, being on the edge. I think it’d be a cool resume to be a pro skier and then a pro driver. I think chicks would dig it.
How did you first get involved with racing?
Red Bull hooked up this Jetta Cup over at the Virginia International Raceway. I was fully addicted. They sent me to a rally school in New Hampshire. One of my really good friends is one of the best two-wheel drive rally drivers right now. It’s something I’m so psyched about. It’s crazy what you can do with just a brake and gas pedal.
Who is your friend?
His name is Chris Deplessis. He’s from Maine. He’s just dirty. He’s so good. The tough thing about motor sports is the financial backing. He’s been killing it but has a hard time getting the funds.
Did he teach you to drive?
I got to sit in a car with him and I was hooked as soon as I got in there. I think because everything happens quickly in skiing. You make one wrong edge turn, and you’re done. It’s just quick reactions. Everything is smooth and you have to make sure you’re on point with everything. I’m not scared to put down the throttle. If I dump it into the trees, I have an entire car around me rather than just my body like in skiing.
You've been named to the U.S. halfpipe team for when it is added in 2014. First, how does that compare to everything else that you’ve won in your life. Second, what kind of path do they have the team set on with the competition still two years away?
They set me up with trainers, and we have camps. We won’t see a huge difference until next year. It’s a little bit more structure. The thing with me is that I don’t really utilize the coach. I always have friends that I ski with. It's such a new sport, so every trick we do has never been done before.
What’s it like to represent your entire country, rather than yourself or your sponsors?
I don’t know yet. I’ve always been somebody that’s skied by myself. I have never had teammates. I have had no other distractions. Everything has changed a little bit, and we have a coach, so I think it’s going to push me a little bit more.
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