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Simone Origone rewrites speed skiing history

By CNN Staff
updated 8:09 AM EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
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.

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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.

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"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."

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