Interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, 16 Feb. 2006 
It is other people who want me to win medals.
The silver medals I won in Salt Lake City didn’t give me anything. Last year I set myself the goal of winning the World Cup and lining up a long series of wins. It was my private challenge.
This year I just want to enjoy myself. I could give up tomorrow without having the slightest regret. I could keep away from this world for a year and then perhaps start to feel the desire to prove something to myself again.
Fame is almost a poison. I couldn’t care less, in fact I lived better when I was a nobody.
Some people say I make mistakes, I just say that in fact this is the secret of enjoying life. I hate monotony. Why don’t they leave me freedom of choice? People want to impose choices which aren’t necessarily mine. That’s the mistake people make.
Sport is born clean and it would stay that way if it was the athletes who ran it for the pleasure of taking part, but then the fans and the media intervene and finish up by corrupting it with the pressure that they exercise.
Anyone who isn’t strong is left in a corner, no one asks for their autograph, they are abandoned in the cold shadows. Those who win, however, become icons.
From this inhuman pressure doping is born because the athlete feels the imperative of having to be No. 1. I believe instead that sport should be a private pressure, a challenge for yourself.
Interview with Newsweek, Nov. 2005, pub. 23 Feb. 2006 
You basically have to trick yourself into incredible intensity to do this stuff, and I do a good job of pretending that I’m racing to save my mom from getting killed or my sister from being raped—some horrible thing that causes me to dig deep, like old-school ‘Braveheart’ s---. If you come into battle with that in your head, you’re gonna be a different person than if you think you’re just going out for a little swordfight. But when you do that for 10 years straight, it wears your a-- out. It’s like crying wolf to yourself a million times. And at some point, you start to say, ‘Why am I doing this?’
For me the ideal Olympics would be to go in with all that pressure, all that attention and have performances that are literally tear-jerking, that make people put their heads down because they’re embarrassed at how emotional they’re getting, that make people want to try sports, talk to their kids, call their f---ing ex-wives—and come away with no medals. I think that would be epic. That would be the perfect thing.