How Fast Are Olympic Skiers?

If you've ever watched Olympic skiers, you have probably been amazed with the speed at which they fly down hills and you may have wondered how fast are Olympic skiers? In general, professional skiers headed down slopes are moving at speeds between 40 and 100 miles per hour. Recreational skiers on the other hand are usually seen going at speeds around twenty miles per hour. Part of answering this question involves determining exactly what type of skiing is being discussed. Speeds vary, for instance, between the fastest downhill skiers versus the fastest speed recorded for speed skiers.

Downhill Skiing Downhill ski races involve turning as skiers navigate their way down a mountain, unlike speed skiing in which the goal is simply to reach the bottom in a straight line as quickly as possible. Exactly how fast are Olympic skiers? Olympic downhill skiers often reach speeds of 80 miles per hour on these courses. The record for downhill skiing speed is held by Klaus Kroell of Austria who reached a speed of almost 97 miles per hour.

Average Olympic Skier Speeds Downhill speeds in competition frequently reach 75 miles per hour or more in men's competitions, with women's speeds slightly lower at an average of 60 miles per hour or more. Olympic skiers speeds are slightly higher, though most commonly max out in the low 90 mile per hour range.

Unique Olympic Speed Skier Record Mike May set the speed record for a blind downhill skier at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. He skied a demonstration run, following a guide at speeds up to 65 miles per hour.


Mike May