Posted: Friday February 10, 2006 12:01PM; Updated: Monday February 13, 2006 3:55AM
SI: What is something you would never eat and why?
Tomba: Insects, because it's a food culture too far from mine.
SI: How close are you to your competitive weight?
Tomba: I'm still in a good shape. When I raced, I was actually bigger, because I needed more muscle to give me the energy to compete at that level. Now I have lost some weight, there is a little less muscle and fat.
SI: You're on a deserted island and you get to have one bottle of wine. Which wine? What vintage?
Tomba: No name, because I have too many friends in the wine business. For sure, though, it would be red and Italian, around 1990.
SI: You sent some flowers to Katarina Witt at the Calgary Olympics. Did she ever get back to you? She has aged well, hasn't she?
Tomba: Katarina and I have been good friends since Calgary. That's all. I'm sorry to disappoint anyone who thought we were in love. Now we work together as Founding Members of the Laureus Academy, which includes 40 of the best known athletes in the world. Through the Sport for Good Foundation, we help underprivileged children and people rebuild their lives and dignity through sports.
SI: Who are the best-looking athlete these days?
Tomba: Athletes have changed a lot in last 10 years. Many care a lot more about their images now off the playing field, too. So there are plenty of them that look good. Particularly, the women!
SI: What is the best story about Alberto Tomba in the Olympic village? How many female visitors could fit into your room?
Tomba: Again with this story. Some years ago, during the Olympics, I did an interview and as a joke I said that my training was having five women in my room until five in the morning. But it was a just a joke! No one can behave that way and then the day after, hit the starting gate at 3,000 meters, 20 degrees below zero, and win a race. But the atmosphere in the Olympic village is unbelievable, with all the athletes from every part of the world, the best in their nations, so focused and concentrating. But also open to share the moment with each other, the public and the press. It is impossible to explain.
SI: You have done some acting. Tell us about it.
Tomba: It was 1998. I did a movie called Alex l'Ariete. I had fun. Maybe I will do it again in the future, maybe with an action script, maybe in U.S.
SI: What character from history would you like to play and why?
Tomba:Alessandro Magno (Alexander the Great). He was a leader from the beginning of his short life.
SI: Which leading actor most reminds you of yourself and why? Could anyone play Alberto Tomba in a movie?
Tomba: Maybe Russell Crowe. He can act in action movies, but also in dramas and comedies. He's versatile. He's able to show all human sides, the ones that everybody has inside.
SI: Italians are known for being great designers. Do you like the design of Olympic medals this year?
Tomba: They're different, modern, something that capture your attention and at the same time they seem so familiar to me.
SI: What kind of car do you drive?
Tomba: I have an SUV to go up to the mountains, and a little one to move faster in the city center, and a convertible American sports car. No free promotion, but it begins with the big L.
SI: How often do you ski these days?
Tomba: I ski all winter since I have ski events with my sponsors, Fila and Rossignol, around Europe. I also like to jog, mountain bike, swim in the sea, and sometimes I play basketball and tennis.
SI: What is your favorite place to visit in the U.S. and what do you like to do there?
Tomba: Skiing in Squaw Valley, shopping in Los Angeles, and having fun in Las Vegas. I also skied fast in Vermont, in Taos, New Mexico, a wonderful place, and Idaho. I met nice people in Minnesota, but it was too cold. I miss Miami. Maybe I'll go after the Olympics.
SI: You will be 40 years old this year. Is there anything you would like to do in your life that you haven't done?
Tomba: Create my own family-- children, a wife, with values, true love and plans for the future.