Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Simone Origone rewrites speed skiing history

By CNN Staff
April 1, 2014 -- Updated 1209 GMT (2009 HKT)
Simone Origone beat his own world record set in April 2006.
Simone Origone beat his own world record set in April 2006.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Simone Origone breaks speed skiing world record with speed of 252.454 km/h
  • The Italian beats his own record of 251.4 km/h set in 2006
  • The 34-year-old sets record at Vars Chabrieres in French Alps

(CNN) -- The world's fastest man on a pair of skis just got faster.

On Monday Italian Simone Origone broke his own speed skiing world record as he reached 252.4 kilometers per hour on the Chabrieres slopes in the French Alps -- an achievement confirmed by organizers France Ski de Vitesse.

With a 1,220 m slope that has a maximum gradient of 98% and an average of 52.5%, Chabrieres is not for the faint-hearted.

Traveling at over 250 km/h is a privilege usually reserved for Formula One drivers, yet speed skier Origone was equipped with just an aerodynamic helmet to increase streamlining and a ski suit made from air-tight latex to reduce wind resistance.

Origone's one nod to safety was wearing a back protector in case of a crash as he threw himself down the one kilometer track.

Making the World Cup trophy

Read: The crystal globes that stars covet

World's most dangerous downhill?

Origone has been the fastest speed skier on the globe since April 2006, having set a then-new world record of 251.4 km/h at Les Arcs.

Bastien Montes of France was Origone's closest challenger on Monday, but even the Frenhcman's new personal best of 248.105 km/h was someway short of the Italian's 2006 world record, let alone his latest one.

Read: Uphill Streif: The Super Bowl of skiing

"Simone Origone is the greatest champion of all time, he is the only person to hold the record for two ski speeds in France -- Les Arcs and Vars Chabrieres. This is a historic day," technical director of Speed Masters Philippe Billy told Vars.com.

The 34-year-old Origone -- a ski instructor, mountain guide and rescuer by day -- only took up the discipline in 2003, having given up downhill skiing in 1999.

"Now that I have twice won the world record, I can say that I have made history," Origone told Vars.com. "It is important for me and for speed skiing."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
Olympic medalist Henrik Kristoffersen takes snowmobile ride on a frozen lake in Sweden.
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
American skier Lindsey Vonn poses with a crystal globe after claiming the title of overall World Cup winner at the Alpine ski World Cup finals in March 2012.
Football has its 18-carat-gold World Cup trophy, and ice hockey the silver and nickel Stanley Cup, but skiing's globes are something else...
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1822 GMT (0222 HKT)
Austrian skiers Anna Fenninger and Marcel Hirscher reflect on their World Cup triumphs.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0945 GMT (1745 HKT)
Christina Macfarlane explores how skiing's coveted Crystal Globe is made.
February 20, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
The ghostly lights wind up from the base of the mountain. Heart rates are also rising. This race is held on a notorious downhill ski course -- but in reverse.
January 29, 2014 -- Updated 1846 GMT (0246 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane looks back at the history of Austria's Kitzbuhel ski race.
January 29, 2014 -- Updated 1849 GMT (0249 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane explores a new technology that customizes the entire boot to your foot.
February 4, 2014 -- Updated 0515 GMT (1315 HKT)
If you're scared of heights, then this is not for you -- a glass cube perched at the top of a 12,600-foot peak in the French Alps.
December 16, 2013 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane goes on patrol with a a seasoned ski rescue team in the French Alps.
December 16, 2013 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane meets Giant Slalom world champion Tessa Worley in Lyon, France.
December 13, 2013 -- Updated 1556 GMT (2356 HKT)
From GoPro cameras to avalanche airbags. CNN's Christina MacFarlane puts the latest skiing gadgets to the test.
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane talks to teenage skiing sensation Mikaela Shiffrin.
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
CNN's Christina Macfarlane finds out how designers and engineers made Beaver Creek race course from scratch.
ADVERTISEMENT