On breaking Phil Mahre's U.S. record of 27 World Cup wins at Kitzb√ºhel, Austria, on Sunday
It's something you dream about as a kid. I know Phil. He was really an amazing skier, but he's not a fan of mine. He doesn't like my technique—he thinks it's sloppy and reckless, and he doesn't really like my lifestyle.
On leaving the U.S. ski team in May to start his Team America
I wanted to explore my athletic ability. And the [U.S.] team cut my funding [after years of his protesting various team rules]. I'd rather pay extra and do things the way I've always wanted to do them.
The advantages of being on his own
I have more flexibility. If [practice] conditions are crap in one area, I shift to a new area. When you have a team of 17 guys, that's cumbersome. And on the race side the energy just seems better. It feels like we're pushing hard. With the [U.S.] team the attitude and energy were never 100%—it was get the result, not go out and crush it. Now it's go 100%, go crazy and see what you can do.
On whether he'll ski at the 2010 Olympics after talking up his party life and not medaling in 2006
I haven't decided. The last Olympics was positive for me, but for everyone else—the country, the sport, my management team—it was incredibly negative. It was hard on my family. Nobody wants to hear that their son is a disgrace and that they should be ashamed of him. If I think the [hype] around me is too negative, I won't do it.
What the unmarried 30-year-old will be doing in 10 years
I'm interested in having a family, and I love working with kids. I have 630 acres in New Hampshire with an organic-produce farm. I'd like a camp that teaches kids about growing organic produce and forestry, and I'd mix in stuff like sports, hiking, fishing and just cruising around New Hampshire.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JESSE FROHMAN