Q&A: Tommy Moe on ski racing today, where his golden skis are and other topicsTommy Moe won the 1994 Olympic downhill at Kvitfjell. Since retiring in 1998, he has appeared in kayak movies, represented Spyder clothing and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The following interview, by Ski Racing senior editor Nate Vinton, is not the full story, however; in the current issue of Ski Racing magazine, Moe discusses his 1994 win and talks about what he thinks of the U.S. Ski Team today. Click here to subscribe to the magazine – 15 issues a year of feature stories, exciting photography and the famous Waxroom.
Ski Racing: How disappointed was Kjetil Andre Aamodt when you beat him by four-hundredths of a second to win the Olympic gold in his home country.
Tommy Moe: Andre and Lasse â€¦ they won a lot. They’re really good guys. I remember them from the 1989 World Junior Championships, when I won the gold in the super G, [Jeremy] Nobis the GS, and Edi Podivinski in the downhill.
SR: What do you think of the sport, now that you’ve been away from it for awhile?
TM: It’s not on television enough. It used to be the a worldwide sport, and you started in with that ‘thrill of victory, agony of defeat’ stuff. Now it’s all snowboarding and skiercross. The Outdoor Life Network coverage wasn’t that great last year. I liked the Bode Show. He’s the Lance Armstrong of skiing. We need someone like to that put it on the map. Nobody really biked, and now everybody’s into biking.
SR: What did you do with the skis from 1994?
TM: They’re still in Burlington, Vermont, in the lobby area at Dynastar. There’s just one pair: I used the same for downhill and super G. They’re pretty big too â€¦ 220s. I never used them again. I ruined them in that race. They got freezer burned, the base melted out.
SR: Talk about Bill Johnson, whose gold medal predated your own by 10 years and who had had a much less lucky time of it since.
TM: It’s amazing to think about Bill. Such a successful skier. He won three World Cups that year [1984: Aspen, Wengen, Whistler]. I was on the team with him for a few years, and he was hanging on, trying to make a comeback. His whole story is kind of bad luck. I was 14 years old, and I wanted to be just like him.
SR: Were you friends with the Austrian skiers?
TM: We got along with them pretty well. We weren’t buddies by any means, but when you race the World Cup for a number of years, you get to know everybody. Now the guys train with those guys, which is kind of neat. â€¦ I think the Austrians are the number one team in the world, and you can learn a lot from them.
SR: [Bode] Miller and [Daron] Rahlves were in the top four in both downhill and super G standings last year. Did you think that would ever happen?
TM: I think those guys have finally dominated the World Cup so it’s not just the Austrians anymore, it’s the Americans too. It’s just too bad it’s not as big is as it is in Europe. In the States, people on the street don’t know who Daron Rahlves is. They know who Bode Miller is because he’s winning. [Ed. Note: this interview was conducted just before the World Cup season began.]
SR: But the Austrians were dominating in your day too. Why?
TM: They were more dialed in. They had their own cars. They had more coaching staff. When we raced, we overtrained too much, so we were inconsistent. We’d finish and play basketball or lift weights, but the Austrians lounged around. That was smart. Now all [the Americans] do is go spin on the bike for 10 minutes to get the lactic acid out of their legs, then relax and stretch, and do it again the next day. That’s the way to do it.
SR: So what are you doing these days?
TM: I do the Kings and Corn trip for Chugach Powder Guides in June. I’ve been doing that trip for eight years now. Spyder treats me really good. Now we’re doing the Tommy Moe Outdoor (fleeces and stuff). I go to the SIA show every year for Spyder. I keep getting invited to Kitzbuehel.