Who is Simone Origone?
Simone Origone is the world’s fastest speed skier. Earlier this week the 34-year-old broke his own record by reaching 252.4km/h in the French Alps.
That sounds fast!
More than twice as quick as a cheetah, to be precise.
Speed skiing is thought to be the fastest non-motorized land sport and involves a steep drop to pick up speed.
When Origone set the new world record this week, he fell nearly 500m in altitude within a few seconds.
— EspritGlisse (@EspritGlisse) April 1, 2014
Does he get scared?
Remarkably, no. The only thing Origone is scared of is doing a bad job, he told The Local.
“You are concentrating so much on what you have to do technically,” leaving no room for fear, he said.
His family are described as being “relaxed” about his chosen sport, while Origone said his friends “are happy that I’m doing something I like”.
What’s the point in speed skiing?
“To break the record,” according to Origone, who says the sport is not as dangerous as some imagine. Due to the risks associated with travelling at such speeds, however, speed skiing is not an Olympic sport.
How did Origone get into the sport?
Origone is from the Ayas area in the Aosta Valley, nestled in the Alps close to the French border. As a result he was virtually born on skis.
“I started when I was very young, at about three years old, like everyone who lives here,” he told The Local.
After his parents strapped him into his first pair of skis, he joined the other local children at ski school and went on from there.
He didn’t try out adrenalin-filled speed skiing until the age of 23, however, in the French Alps.
What does he do when he’s not racing down a mountain?
Travel slightly less fast down a mountain.
Origone is a skiing instructor in the Aosta Valley, working with children and adults from both home and abroad.
After the sun goes down he can be found “at the gym or at home”, presumably moving at a normal human pace.
Where would he recommend for a skiing holiday in Italy?
“It’s difficult to say where the best place to ski is,” Origone said, pausing before declaring “where I live!”
For the skiing champion, “the most beautiful places in the world are in the Alps.”