Speed skier Simone Origone targets new world record

Story highlights

  • Simone Origone thrilled to break speed skiing world record by clocking 252.4 km/h
  • The Italian beat his own record of 251.4 km/h (156.2 mph) set in 2006
  • The 34-year-old is planning to break the world record for a third time next year

For most people, breaking one world record would suffice. But for Simone Origone, rewriting history a second time isn't quite enough.

Last month, the Italian speed skier set a new world record of 252.4 kilometers per hour (156.8 miles per hour) on the slopes of Chabrieres in the French Alps, beating his previous best of 251.4 km/h (156.2 mph) set at Les Arcs in November 2006.

Now, the 34-year-old is gearing up to go even faster.

"I have already started to plan my next world record, next year, same place," Origone told CNN. "If the conditions are perfect -- temperature, wind, snow -- I can be as fast as 254 or 255 km/h (158.4 mph)."

He might be already masterminding his next world-record attempt, but Origone is still coming to terms with the magnitude of his record-breaking achievements.

Read: Origone rewrites speed skiing history

"It was the best day of my life! To set a new record once is cool. But to do it twice is absolutely great. I'm really happy with that after waiting for eight years," said Origone.

"It's my passion for the sport. Speed skiing is my life. I spend hours in the gym and on the slopes, working on my technique. I try to improve my aerodynamics in the wind tunnel and then the mental aspect is absolutely key. Losing your focus for a split second can be fatal."

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Born in the city of Aosta in 1979, Origone hails from a family with skiing in its blood.

Younger brother Ivan, 27, is also one of the world's top speed skiers, setting a junior world record of 250.7 km/h (155.7 mph) in 2006, and also took part at Chabrieres last month.

The older sibling first took to the slopes at the age of three under the tutelage of his father, an experienced coach, and made headway in downhill racing as a teenager before turning his hand to speed skiing in 2003 -- a sport that complimented his daredevil tendencies to a tee.

"It's a very strong feeling. After five seconds you're already at 200 km/h (124.2 mph) on a slope that is up to 98% steep -- that's amazing," he said.

"It's impossible to win a race if you're afraid. Certainly my body and mind tell me you shouldn't be doing this. But in order to be fast you have to overcome your fear and force yourself to go down there."

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That need for speed will have Origone coming back to Chabrieres next April, when the Italian will be praying for perfect conditions to maximize his chances of breaking his own world record for the second time.

"It's all down to the conditions. The snow has to be perfect to break the world record. The latest record was only possible because we had spring snow in Vars (in Chabrieres). In the three previous years the snow conditions were different and a world record was impossible," he said.

"There's only one piste in the world that is long enough to break the world record (Vars). In order to reach over 200 km/h (124.2 mph) the piste has to be long, without bumps and have a long finish area."

From now until next April, though, Origone will return to the day job, where he can be found juggling the roles of ski instructor, mountain guide and rescuer.

For all that two speed skiing world records might bring you, prize money is not one of the luxuries afforded.

"We don't have prize money in our sport, it's all about the passion," he said. "You have to live for it. And I do."

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