-On winning a medal
Olympics are different for each person, but for me, the medal's sort of a bonus--more for the crowd, the country, my family and my coaches. For me, that feeling I had when I skied the second run was better than any medal. When I had that feeling of just skiing for myself, that's what I like the most.
-Importance of skiing well today
When you go to the Olympics you obviously want to win medals but more or less you want to compete well, and that was big for me today.
-Feelings going into second run
I felt like I let myself down a little bit--that I let the fans down who came in. I was a favorite, along with Aamodt, and skiing the way I did, I didn't feel good and I wasn't getting the job done. But when I get into the gate I don't think about that stuff--it's completely out of my head. I was looking at the slalom course, which for me is a lot like looking at a great golf course or a playground if you're a kid--that's what I like to do. And I went out and charged the second run.
-On problem in downhill
I have to look at video to really say. I had been skiing that section great all week and I don't think anyone had any problems there besides me. The whole thing was bumpy, so I was on my toes--the skis were doing all kinds of crazy stuff. I came in there with good speed. I would swing out more on that turn than most guys. A lot of guys don't feel comfortable really laying the ski over like that, so they come in the jump and have to ditch a little bit of speed because you'd fly too far, it's so steep there. Instead, I swing out a little farther and I come in with more direction and I flatten out--that way I can take the jump with more speed because I'm going straight off it. If you're in the turn you can't do it. Yesterday it worked great for me but today I THOUGHT I was doing it but the next thing I know I was on my side flying at the coaches. It was really a tenth of a second--that's all you have before you go into the fence.
-How close to crashing
It was a crash. My feet weren't touching the ground for a little bit. I was down. If it wasn't a life-threatening situation, I probably wouldn't have been able to pull it off despite how much I wanted to make it to the finish. It was definitely above and beyond what I can normally do. I felt if I didn't I would probably die.
With Fischer, it's It's not only the skis for those guys, but the support in general. A lot of companies don't rely direclty on the athletes to get information for their skis. That was a huge factor in why I switched to Fischer. We sat down this last summer and I was on a conference call with the guy who was building the skis. We figured out what would work and 90 percent of the input that went into that ski was what I told them. It's important to have that relationship. I know a lot about building skis and it turned out great this time and I'm going to take advantage of it this year.