A Whole Lotta BS: Simon Dumont Goes South

A Whole Lotta BS: Simon Dumont Goes South

Simon Dumont had another exceptional year being named the AFP world champion. But even the most competitive skiers need some time off. A month of beautiful beaches and culture is not a bad way to spend it. Simon flew down to South America to meet up with his girlfriend, Charlie, for the vacation of a lifetime. He experienced the glory of Iguazu Falls, the glaciers of Patagonia, and the intensity of Brazilian soccer. Not to mention all the extravagance that Rio de Janeiro has to offer.

Freeskier: Happy Birthday! So you flew out to Portland, Oregon for Nike Migration as soon as you got back to America. How was this year’s event? Did you have time to celebrate turning 23?
Simon Dumont: Well, Nike Migration was freaking insane. Nike is one of the coolest sponsors ever. Since it was my birthday they gave me some really ill Jordan’s. So it went pretty well.

FS: Yeah, I meant to say happy birthday when I got in touch with you so I wouldn’t have to be another comment on your facebook wall.
SD: Well you’re not, Brian.

FS: Awe babe. Well it looks like you had quite an incredible trip. What was your itinerary?
SD: June 6th, I flew down to Buenos Aires where I got really sick. But I was only sick for two days, so we hung out there. We checked out a gun museum, some other museums, rallied around the city, went to the zoo and saw the endangered snow leopard, which was pretty ill. From Buenos Aires we flew to Iguazu, in Northern Argentina, which was like full on jungle/rainforest craziness. We stayed right in the national park, which was really sweet. I think we spent three to four days just checking out the waterfalls. There are like 275 waterfalls in this one area. If anyone else is thinking about a trip that is the place to go. Then from there we left the jungle/rainforest and flew down to the southern tip of Argentina to a place called El Calafate (a small town in Patagonia). El Calafate is completely in the boonies. We stayed in this little hotel and drove over all these huge glaciers. It has like the fourth largest glacier in the world, and it was all fresh water. Then we took this charter boat through this huge lake where we saw bunch of ginormous icebergs. There were just walls of ice and glaciers all over the place. So we went there for two days and from there we went to Brazil, where I invited my mom and my sister. I rented a pretty big place, which was super nice for us to stay in. It was this three-story villa in Rio, around Cabana Beach. We checked out the rain forest; it was by far the best city I have ever been to in my life. We also checked out the slums of Favelas, where guys were just holding M16s…pretty gnarly. I loved Brazil so much that I ended up staying there for an extra week. And that was pretty much my trip to South America.

FS: You really got to experience it all. What was the coolest part of South America for you?
SD: Iguazu and El Calafate, were some of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Also the city of Rio de Janieiro was just amazing. Before I went there people told me the city was going to be super gnarly and sketchy. People did not warn me about if I get robbed, but rather when I get robbed. So for the first day I was a bit nervous. However, the city was beautiful, the food was incredible, it had mountains, it had beaches, and it had rainforests. I was thinking of buying a place down there since it was that cool.

FS: Were there any cultural highlights along your travels?
SD: I actually went to a tango show in Argentina, which was pretty cool ‘cause tango was traditionally the dance of the hookers. It was a way for hookers to seduce men. So it was really hard for the Argentineans, as a culture, to accept the dance. Then the French came over, saw how cool tango was, and it transitioned into more of a dance than a seductive trick. Back in Brazil we went to some salsa festival. It is a carnival where they party for like two weeks straight and have all these dance shows. They wear the most elegant, huge dresses I have ever seen. They look like peacocks, but they were the most amazing dresses I have ever seen. There was also such a cultural shock in Favelas, because I have never hung out in an area that poverty stricken and different from where we come from, you know?

FS: That sounds pretty remarkable. You even got to go to a professional soccer game. I heard they kind of take that sport seriously over there… Was that nuts?
SD: We did make it to a soccer game. It was Rio’s home team verses another Brazilian team for this countrywide tournament. Rio needed to win this game or they were knocked out, so everyone was just freaking out. I had never been to a soccer game before. But there were these three sections that were so packed, everyone was holding the biggest banners and going crazy. You wouldn’t want to be routing for anyone but the home team. Then there was the US vs. Brazil game, where I knew what was going on, but people kept bringing it up to me. I made it to the airport, not knowing what the score was. Immediately Brazil scored and the whole airport went nuts. I thought there was a full on terrorist attack or something. Those guys take soccer to another level, for sure.

FS: Rumor has it there were lots of gnarly guys with motorcycles staying in your hotel in Rio. Did you get in any biker brawls?
SD: No biker brawls. I was pretty intimidated because I was with my little sister, my mom, and little Charlie, and we were staying at the hotel with so many Hell’s Angels. There must have been a convention or something. They were all wearing their leather vests. Some were from Denmark, Holland, Copenhagen, all over the world. They were just taking a break from killing people and doing all that “hood rat shit” that Hell’s Angels do.

FS: Any final words for Freeskier?
SD: I am psyched to be back. I went to hood to ski and the two Toms, Tom Wallisch and Tom James, really put on a clinic. I mean they slayed it, throwing bunch doubles. They were scaring me a bit. I feel like I know where my head is going and watch out for the next things to come. Then next month hopefully some cool things in skiing are going to come around. People are going to be stoked.

FS: Perfect well have a great time finishing up at Hood and enjoy your travels to Whistler.
SD: Thanks, take it easy B. Schroy, have a good one buddy.

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