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Joey Mantia

We can safely bet that to date this has to be the hardest interview he’s ever submitted to. Such a confident guy shouldn’t be afraid to answer devious questions, anyway. Mind: he’s confident, but not cocky; frank, but not assuming. One can't avoid loving Super Joey, a candid down-to-earth young fellow that luckily does not give a toss to know he’s one in a million.

Get to know him better... while it's free!

Are you aware that this is not going to be the average silly & boring interview?
Yeah. Just shoot!
Right on! A couple of years ago you said in one of those interviews that most of the day you could be found training or skating. Since then, did you find out that life offers more interesting things like, say, sex?
I can tell you that probably I’m not that focused on skating as I used to be… You know, getting older, wanting more in life, having a good time, discovering new things that are… you know, not more important than skating, but that are becoming a part of my life that I cannot ignore.
So we can assume you’re not a virgin anymore! You also said once that Mrs Hildebrand was the best thing that ever happened in your sporting career. How come is she now training Belgium’s national team? Did she abandoned you, or you sacked her?
No, no! I was planning to move at the end of last season, Brittany (Bowe) was going to start school and Reneè got that offer, so it was a mutual simultaneous thing for all of us to try something new.
Speaking of Brittany: Ocala News (their hometown paper) stated recently that you two are “not as close as before”. Does that mean that you’re not hard at it with her as you used to?
Hahaha! There is no sex between us. People grow apart for one reason or another: she started college and that is the best that could have happened to her, besides she’s taking things easy too, being laid back about life. We’re still very good friends, we talk a lot, keep in touch… but no sex there!
Hmm… you don’t know what you’re missing, man! So, did you move to Washington to start your ice skating career, or to do a “Lewinsky”?
Well, everybody thinks it was for the ice skating… There was a misunderstood somewhere along the line! Basically I’m living there because of my other job: I’m doing computer graphics, mainly for the Luigino website. I do wanna skate ice, and Vancouver is definitely an objective for me, but honestly I don’t know when I’ll start. I’m having a lot of fun on inlines, skating Worlds and World Cups, so right now I have no desire to switch to ice right away.

So you’re not involved in Derek Parra’s project?
But didn’t you have a job at Home Depot too?
Yes, I did, it was an Olympic Committee program. I decided it wouldn’t be good for me to keep that job: they pay you whether you go to work or not, and I wanted to be honest. I was not able to keep training and doing that job at the same time, so I walked out of that program so other athletes could benefit from it.

Home Depot: America's best vitamin store

You’re a one-man team: what’s your recipe to win World Cup marathons alone?
Well, knowing that teams have 4 or more guys each, my only chance was to make sure every time there was a break to follow or neutralize them, trying to keep the pack together. My strategy proved right, I was confident it would work… Except in Berlin! But hey: I hate racing in the rain!
How about Panam Games? Where they OK or was it a joke?
No, actually it was cool! The Santo Domingo edition was sad, there where no spectators, only coaches, parents and judges. This year the crowd was amazing, the venue was full, live TV coverage for the finals… It was pretty cool! Brazil is a beautiful country, its people really nice, I hope to go back someday.
Tell me the good and bad of Cali’s Worlds
The good: seven gold medals and the fans. I’ve never been to a World Championship where such a huge crowd of fans would want to touch you, to hold you, asking you autographs, pictures…
The bad: the heat! Wheels would respond differently depending on the time of the day, it was a huge problem. Another bad thing: one of our guys falling down during the relay. It would have been nice to see what would have happen in the final if our team competed without that setback. All in all, Cali’s Worlds was a great fun experience for me.
After Worlds, some people started to speculate whether who’s best: you or Chad. What do you have to say about that crap?
Whenever I retire, I wouldn’t like people to compare anybody to me. This is a different era, there are other adversaries, the technology has changed… Chad is Chad, he was amazing; I am me and it’s up to the public to say whatever they like about that. For me is an honor to be compared with Chad or anybody else from the past, but honestly I just like to be me and that people judge me by who I am, rather that doing comparisons.

True! What about your sponsors: are you staying with them next year, or too many offers are luring you to change?
Luigino is the best sponsor I ever had. Also Doug Glass has been pivotal in my career, he was like a mentor to me, took care of me, listened to me… So for sure I’m staying with them one more season. I’m completely loyal, it doesn’t matter how many offers I get. I’m grateful for all they’ve done for me.

Whoa! Nice butt...

After we published the Nicole Begg exploit, a lot of lady readers are asking us to have your nude photo-shoot too. Are you willing to do it?
If the price is good, I don’t see any problem to do that! Come on, make me an offer! I would do it.
We’ll start the petition, then. One of your team mates apparently took an Argentinean junior lady skater to your room: can you confirm that gossip?
Actually, I can’t! I heard a lot about it but I was not an eye witness. Sorry!
Yeah, sure. So who’s the best looking chick at Worlds?
You know, there are a lot of cute girls out there…
A lot? Are you blind or something?
Ok, there’s a few. And if they skate fast, it helps! The faster ones are more noticeable, don’t you think?

Full-frontal & signed, as promised.

Catherine Peñan
Roberto Marotta